When all is said and done, which one is is, for lack of a better word, preferable?
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My kingdom for a candidate who is truly credible on both, but my chief priority is giving Jimmy Carter II the same amount of time in office as Jimmy Carter I.
For voters like for me whose motivation is nothing more and nothing less than making sure Barack Obama is not re-elected, Morris offers this: “Clearly Romney would have a better chance of winning than Gingrich would. The very things that make him difficult as a sell in the primary, the Romneycare, abortion, and that stuff, make him more acceptable in a general election.… But I believe that with Obama messing up as he’s doing.… Gingrich also could beat Obama, so I don’t think that it’s an automatic vote for Romney simply because he would have the better chance.”
And here is the crux of the matter. If you believe that Morris is right that Romney and Gingrich may both be electable, but that Romney’s chances are measurably better, is it really worth increasing your risk of a second Obama presidency in order to get a president who is, in my view, only slightly more conservative? I think not, but I will keep listening to the debates and the candidates’ other public statements to see if perhaps my perception of the electability of either man changes substantially.
A couple other points on electability: The strength of voters’ desire for a less polarized relationship between Congress and the White House, i.e. the “can’t we all just get along” crowd, could be a major factor. Voters, especially independents and moderate Republicans, who are old enough to remember the Clinton/Gingrich years, the government shutdown, the intense partisanship (which continues unabated today) may lean toward Romney’s more cooperative persona. Hard-core conservatives who are itching for a fight they can win may side with Gingrich.
Furthermore, one has to wonder whether a Gingrich nomination would bring Bill Clinton into the race, not just in people’s minds, but also in terms of letting Clinton hit the campaign trail for Democrats regaling crowds with his personal stories about Gingrich. It is a remarkable thing to say, but our current president and, sadly, even our prior president, make the Clinton years look like a paradigm of good government and fiscal discipline, blue dresses notwithstanding. Clinton will work hard to make sure that he, rather than Gingrich, gets the credit; it would be an incredible ongoing debate to watch. I doubt Republicans want to run even a little bit against Bill Clinton but a Gingrich nomination would make that scenario likely.
Hard-core conservatives may be a majority in many GOP primaries and caucuses but are a distinct minority in a general election. If Gingrich wins the nomination on their strength, they will have to stick with their man as he moves slightly to the center prior to November 2012. Romney is probably acceptable to moderates as he is… which is why conservatives are so hesitant to support him. Again, we will have to decide whether we want the more conservative candidate or the more electable candidate. I wonder what William F. Buckley would say about this match-up.
When the nominee is chosen, even if whomever of the two (I do believe this is now a two-man race) I end up supporting doesn’t win, I will gladly support the other. Both are good men despite their much-discussed flaws, both far better for our nation than our current president, and both deserving of the support of all Americans whose motivation is to return our nation at least slightly back down the path of limited government and liberty.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?