As I've detailed on this blog, I'm not a Romney fan.
I view myself as a conservative. My political experience has taught me that generally, you cannot defeat democrats in elections by "out-democrating" them.
Politics is my business. I usually win, even when I'm not supposed to, if the candidate does what THEY are supposed to... even when they're supposed to lose. "Out democrating" has never been a successful political strategy because voters will typically ask themselves why they should vote for the fake democrat when they can get the real thing.
That, to me, is the history of Romney's governance.
I was never thrilled with Dan Evans as Governor of our state or our one-term US Senator; lionized by "Mainstream" Republicans, viewed, with suspicion, by conservatives; to my mind, legislation like the fascist Columbia River Gorge Scenic Act lives on as his legacy of government abuse and arrogance.
Romney is of the far-left Evans mold. As Republican as my Cocker Spaniel, to see our future with his governance is to recall his past as Governor of Massachusetts, a record little distinguished from his democrat predecessors and marked by Romney-care and a state level violation of the 2nd Amendment, their assault weapons ban.
In an era where transparency is GOP watchword, Romney apparently believed the people were speaking Sanskrit when demands for him to release his tax returns began to surface; in a frighteningly inept and inexcusable lapse, he was entirely unprepared to deal with the issue and his response to the demand has been hesitant, half-hearted and altogether unsatisfactory.
Romney has it all: self-financing, establishment backing (Of course, locally, "the establishment" candidates, like at the congressional level, have been the foreseen consequence of worthless representation... hardly the stuff to build faith in their judgment, I believe) 6 years or so of constant campaigning, an envious organization, contacts through out the country and what should have been an envious record of accomplishment in the business world... a record that now seems to be the "Bain" of his existence.
And Newt Gingrich is beating him to a pulp.
Locally, we're told that "Romney will be he nominee and we'd better get used to it."
Then there's a great chance we'd better get used to losing again.
The problem is that the very qualities we need in a leader today repel many.
I'm not all that concerned about Newt's personal history; Bill Clinton lowered that particular bar to doormat level and dope-smoking Obama hasn't been much better... yet they still had the job, Clinton even after we knew he'd bed anything with female reproductive organs.
What I want is a leader. What Mitt Romney is, to me, is a "manager." And we've already got one of those... the only thing to my mind worse than a poor leader in the penultimate position of leadership is for that "leader" to be a "manager..." which is precisely what we have now at every level of government....And how's that working out for us?
I've been led. I've been managed. And I'll take "leadership" every time. And I believe Newt is a leader.
Not a perfect leader. But of those available... he is the leader. He takes charge. He's decisive. He shows no fear.
Save for his morality, Newt is, I believe, the most like me of the candidates out there.
He is confrontational in an era when the US is viewed as a country of cowards thanks to Obama; I compare what I believe to be an Obama foreign policy with that of a Romney and ask myself, "what's the difference?"
With Newt, you know damned well what the difference would be.
His focus would not be the expansion of government and the bureaucracy.
And there's a really good chance that today, he's going to beat Romney to a pulp... underfunded, understaffed, under-prepared... but a political mind that Romney seems unable to even begin to keep up with.
Will, as the "expert" told us, Romney get the nomination?
Maybe. He's got enough money that he can pretty much buy anything.
But the similarities between Obama and Romney far outweigh the differences. And is that what we really want in a president?