Perhaps I’ve waited too long to write this piece. Well, if any of you read my piece pledging to write this piece about two weeks ago, then there can be no perhaps about it. Nevertheless, I forewarned all that, not only am I lazy, but I am good at pretending I am exceptionally busy.
If I’d written this piece two weeks ago, I would have gone out on a (very sturdy, two-lane highway wide) limb and said that Herman Cain wouldn’t last the course to secure the Republican nomination. Hardly ground breaking stuff, but then, this is the Dunce Confederacy.
Godwin’s law, for some reason, is a law I try to adhere to, so I won’t liken Mitt Romney’s slow, deliberate, inexorable progress toward the Republican nomination, to a Nazi death march, but if you want to, feel free. When pundits align, however begrudgingly, and agree that Mitt Romney will contest the general election next year, that eventuality might be considered a possibility. When one looks at the field he is up against, the possibility becomes a mormon-sex-feast-scandal away from a dead certainty.
So my dalliance with ambition and subsequent failure to write in a timely fashion may well be a blessing in disguise because I’m forced to change my focus to something a little more interesting – what a Romney ticket and then, perhaps, executive cabinet, might look like.
It is easy to forget Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the midst of Rick Perry’s drunken ranting and the errr unfortunately named hunting lodge, Michele Bachmann’s bevy of objectively crazy claims including but not limited to asserting she’d met someone who had a baby that was ‘retarded’ because of the HPV vaccine, and Herman Cain’s electrified fence that kills Mexicans joke, singing, 999 plan and other delightful foibles.
It’s safe to say that trio, nor Rick Santorum (thanks to Stephen Colbert – you should really watch this link) will be in the running for the Vice-Presidential nomination, nor any serious executive appointment. Then again, Sarah Palin.
So, as easy as Huntsman, Gingrich and Paul are to forget with poll numbers at 2%, 10% and 7% respectively (perhaps add a dose of salt because Cain is at 30%), they are presumably sticking around in the race for reasons other than throwing their giant money piles (or actually quite small money piles) down the vain drain. And of course, there are the current Governors, Congressman and Senators who might all pop out of the woodwork to claim the bottom half of the ticket but those folks might be the subject of a subsequent post.
Hunstman as many know was until very recently, Obama’s Ambassador to China, and not insane. These two facts probably rule him out of all positions of power. He’s been touted as providing the foreign policy punch it what could be a pretty attractive duo in the general election. Problem is, they are both ‘moderate’, mostly reasonable, intelligent and largely socially accepting men. A more specific factor against this scenario is that it is unlikely that the brilliant hive mind of the Bible belt will consider it prudent to support two Utah Mormons. Cult or no cult, Mormonism isn’t trusted in America. All that is quite apart from the fact that the two men don’t much care for each other as has been evident in the recent Republican debates.
But what about Secretary of State? Surely there are few more qualified candidates for that position than a fluent Mandarin speaking moderate with a career in the diplomatic service? Maybe, but see above. Romney really isn’t a fan of Huntsman and given that executive appointments end up being at the behest of various interest groups, none of which Huntsman would seem to satisfy, he seems a long shot.
Without being unduly disrespectful, whoever is responsible, and it may very well be the giant-headed one himself, for allowing him to grab and hold the mantle of ‘intellectual powerhouse’, wants their own head seen to in short order. He is known for brash ideas, sloppy roll-out of those ideas, and generally being full of bluster. Anyone who calls for the arrest of Congressman and isn’t joking shouldn’t be able to claim in the same breath that he’s the intellectual leader of his party.
But, this being said, Gingrich will invariably have his name bandied about for the Vice Presidential nomination – he’s conservative, he’s hardline, he’s ‘good’ on social issues and he’s respected as an egghead by those who don’t use their heads. It’s hard to see Romney picking him as his VP, but hey, Sarah Palin.
As for any other positions, your guess is as good as mine; economic adviser, Secretary of Labor or any other of those sorts of positions are possibilities. This is all, of course, presupposing that his ego could handle answering to someone, especially someone like Mitt Romney.
Ron Paul. Everybody’s favourite grandpa with attitude. Paul escapes the scrutiny and ridicule of the Bachmann’s and Perry’s because he isn’t dumb, he’s just so ideologically pure that he says and advocates some dumb things. Staunchly libertarian, for every policy of ending the wars there is one that would see sick people who failed to buy insurance literally die on the streets.
He’s amiable, and has a staunch if small following. He isn’t a viable VP nominee, and I’m almost positive he wouldn’t accept it. Paul makes his living advocating for his positions from Congress and quad-annually as a Republican Presidential candidate. For the same reasons, he’s not a serious consideration for any executive office.
This post is quite long enough now. Perhaps next post (about which I will offer no timeline) will deal with Rick Perry and some of the non-running Republicans who might make their way into the VP or Cabinet picture.
While not a certainty, it looks to be a Romney v Obama general election. For moderates, that is probably a good thing as Romney isn’t as extreme as he’s currently seeming, and Obama isn’t the left wing liberal that some make him out to be. Both men are known quantities, both have advantages and disadvantages; their running mates might just turn out to be President-makers.