Wednesday, February 8, 2012

PEELING BACK ROMNEY

A 2012 CPAC Feature Article by Flint Engleman...


At this point in the Republican Presidential nomination process Mitt Romney has a considerable challenge for the front runner title.  The lines have been blurred with the recent victories by Rick Santorum.  All the momentum generated by Romney winning the first 3 of 5 contests has been muted.  Contentions have been raised whether he will be able to draw favor with devoted conservatives.  Yet, many contend Romney has the financing and organization to win the nomination in the end.

Let's take a pause, catch our breath and look at the tender underbelly of Mitt Romney.

Romneycare.  His once 'crown jewel' as Governor of Massachusetts.  His health care plan for his state did include mandates for coverage.  His GOP rivals like Rick Santorum have aligned Mitt Romney with Obamacare.  Romney has touted his will to reverse Obamacare once elected.  This issue may persist and undermine his credibility with voters now and in the fall.

Flip-Flop.  Fact is, Mitt Romney has changed his views over time on key issues.  Some of this may be due to the political culture of campaigning in a very liberal state like Massachusetts.  He first campaigned against Ted Kennedy in the nineties for U.S. Senate.  His views at that time were pro-choice and moderate on second amendment.  For about ten years, he has held pro-life and pro-gun positions.  This flip-flop is very unsettling to American conservatives.

Strength as Candidate.  With the nomination, Mitt will be facing a formidable candidate, Barack Obama.  Although the politics and ideology of Obama are vinegar to the oil of our republic, Obama is a keen politician.  Questions have arisen as to Romney's ability to be strong amidst the impending Obama machine.  Recently, a friend provided a large copy of opposition research that the Obama campaign has accumulated versus Romney.  Including his time from Bain Capital to current day.  Truly, Obama has an arsenal of info to unload.  Romney has had issues delivering clear responses to questions regarding Bain, Romneycare, taxes, wealth and other topics.

Support as the Candidate.  Should he win the nomination, another question arises whether Romney will be able to garner the support from other candidates such as Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, and politicos such as Sarah Palin.    God help us if there is a third party candidate!  He will need to take very deliberate steps to reassure these conservative constituencies and follow them up with a clear plan of action to support our republic.  Leading to the big question:  Does Romney have the capability to win over the support of the Tea Party for the general election?  

Debate Challenges.  Will Romney be able to perform in a strong manner to win Presidential debates versus Obama this fall?  A few instances where he looked quite vulnerable have been exposed by Santorum and Gingrich.  Romney will need to keep working to fine tune his debate skills and delivery.

Religion.  I do not like to mention religion.  But, some Americans do have a resistance to the Mormon faith. It may be an insignificant factor.  Yet, the media and the Obama campaign surrogates have already dropped considerable rhetoric upon Romney's beliefs.

Flubs & Gaffs.  From the $10,000 bet with Perry to the 'poor' comment, Romney has created a sense of elitism.  Although, the context of many of his gaffs has been right on message, the way it was delivered was fair game for the opposition.  To some degree, Romney seems aloof to how his verbal twists have drained his populist flare.  Romney will need to tighten up his delivery to prevent further political fodder for GOP opponents and the Obama political machine.

As we move forward with primaries and caucuses, Mitt Romney will need to fine tune his message and delivery.  Should he progress as the ultimate Republican nominee, he will need to have the internal fortitude to stand his ground to defeat Obama and win the hearts and minds of America.

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The commentary provided on TheAmericanMaverick.com and "The American Maverick Radio Show" are the remarks on behalf of Maverick Media and personal expression of Flint Engleman. In no way, are these statements on behalf of any other organization or political entity.

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