Romney and ’08

Someone asked my thoughts on Romney, and in keeping with the current theme I thought I’d post.

Two thoughts on Romney. I’ll tell you what I think, and I’ll tell you what I see when I look in the crystal ball.

One, Romney seems like a nice guy. Father ran for president and lost in the primary because he made some anti-Vietnam remarks, I think in ’68? I read up on his background, and I have a ton of respect for a guy that turned around every single business he went to. Much more of a success than Obama, who spent one year in business before he fled to law school and sought shelter in fundraising organizations, which have no barometer of success. Then wrote a book on how successful he was, at 35…nice.

Anyway, Romney’s the only non-lifelong politician in the race, really, and I respect that a lot. He will at least appreciate what it takes to run a business, etc.

The Mormon thing is insignificant to me, personally, but I know a lot of people won’t feel that way. Funny, his dad was Mormon and seemed a lock for the nomination at the time…interesting, huh? There is a big question as to how he will play in North Louisiana, so to speak.

The pro-choice flip-flop is not a big deal. Conservatives will have to hold their nose in the general election regardless once the Hill gets the nomination. Same goes for the Mormon thing. Don’t know if Southerners will vote for Hill like they did for Bill. My thoughts, I doubt it. They would vote for Romney over Hill throughout the South, save maybe Arkansas, and perhaps Florida (which may be all she needs).

What I think, and my reservation about Romney, stems from the health care plan he enacted in Mass. The Massachussets legislature approved it and that’s enough of a red flag for me. It seems to be single payer type system, with a front loaded increase in state funded medicare with the hopes that on the back end health savings accounts will take some pressure off the budget. I may be wrong about that, I didn’t really study the issue. In general I will vote against any candidate who endorses a single payer system. Single payer simply means government payer, and that’s bad. I’ve read up on what happens in Canada, and I hear how things are in Taiwan. The long and short of it is this…Canadian consumers aren’t happy with their health care. Taiwanese consumers are happy with their health care, but the doctors are burnt out to the point of protest. Taiwan is fairly dynamic and there is hope that they can shift back, but I doubt Canada or America would. A patient in Canada who wants to bypass the system and pay cash for services needs to go to the supreme court to do so. That ain’t right. In France there is a two-tier system similar to Catholic schools/public schools in America, and they seem to like it. But I don’t like it regardless. Big power grab for the government, which doesn’t need more power.

I like Romney, but unless Guiliani starts singing the praises of single payer, I’m voting for him. In general I’m backing Guiliani. My crystal ball says the marriage/personal background stuff is all out the window thanks to Bill Clinton. Guiliani is the candidate that people who care about dealing with terrorism will appreciate. If he stumps in Louisiana and talks about solutions to the crime problem in New Orleans I think he could win the primary there. Anyway you know how this stuff works, whoever promises more flippin’ ethanol subsidies wins Iowa. A simple reform that WILL NEVER be enacted is a simultaneous primary. Cards on the table, America, who do you want to represent your party? As is there is so much love thrown around in Iowa it’s ridiculous.

The average Fox News watcher is voting Guiliani. Right now I’m convinced he’s the man. He’s got guts, and that counts for something. If he starts preaching about too many big government solutions, namely health care, I’m looking towards McCain, begrudgingly. When I chat politics with people Romney never came up, just Obama,Hil, McCain, Guiliani. He’s a governor I know, but he doesn’t excite me as a voter. I wouldn’t make phone calls for him. If it’s Guiliani vs. Hill, you know I’m making some calls. Maybe that will change, it’s still early. Bill Clinton didn’t even start until October, and the lessons from Dean should resonate; it doesn’t matter who has the early lead. Obama is running for VP, according to the crystal ball.

Interesting to think, Edwards had like 6 years in the senate before he ran and everyone complained about his lack of experience. Hill has 6 years, four more than Obama, and everyone lauds her experience. Why, because she turned a blind eye to Bill’s infidelity and lost her one big policy initiative (big time)? Go figure. The empress definitely has no clothes, and it is not a pretty sight. Obama’s 6 years in state senate before grabbing his senate seat is enough experience in comparison, in my opinion. I dread it. I’d make calls for Romney in the general if it’s against Hill. But not the primary.

Heck,I’d knock on doors in Birmingham for Obama in the primary if there’s a chance he’d beat Hill, and pledge to vote for Obama in the general. You know me, I’d trade three ores and a grain just to keep someone from building a settlement.

Update: (For the uninitiated, the last sentence is a reference to Settlers of Catan .If I have to explain further, well, sorry.

Sound Politics: Can Charismatic Candidates Offer Substance?

This is Sound Politics’ take on the charisma and screen presence of Mitt Romney. Haven’t made up my mind (been busy throwing out Peanut Butter) on Romney, yet. I will say it doesn’t bother me whether he’s pro-choice or not.

There is definitely something to be said for good rhetorical instincts and charisma (Obama is not all the rage because of his lack of skill in these areas). It’s also true (as everyone knows) that an executive just has a way better chance of getting into the oval office than a legislator–40 years since the latter has happened.

The question to me is not whether Romney could deliver conservatives in the South (if he’s up against Hillary, he could be a professed Satanist and would still get the conservative vote–promise). The question to me is whether he could deliver any Blue States. Is his “compassionate, reasonable, moderateness,” or whatever a Republican has to claim to win in Massachussets, going to be enough to win in a national election?

But there’s no doubt he’s charismatic, and it’ll take that to win a national election. I wouldn’t necessarily compare him to Reagan, but as an executive he can claim Moderateness without having to be one of those “maverick” media darlings that always appear to be running for President.

And I wouldn’t say his policies are by any means Reaganesque to the core. I’m uncertain whether he is a Republican because it was more convenient than being an Independent, or that he’s a Republican because he’s a real believer in Republican (or classically Republican, I should say) values.

Being an independent (that’s easier to say in Virginia, by the way), but a professed right-wing-nut-job, I’m still holding out for Newt, who let everyone know yesterday how aggravating it is for people to jump into Presidential elections this early in the game:

“I think the current process of spending an entire year running in order to spend an entire year running in order to get sworn in January 2009 is stupid,” Gingrich said at a National Press Club event with Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.

“I wouldn’t consider thinking about running for president prior to late September,” said Gingrich.

The only reason to start this early, he said, was to line the pockets of the high-paid political consultants.

Well…there…you…go.

Update: I guess Newt will miss this then.

And: This is definitely worth a read, Romney’s Issue agenda.

Sound Politics