From my initial look, Mitt Romney has an impossible task ahead of him, and to my delight, cannot win the presidency. It seems so obvious. The guy panders to every corner of his party. He is oblivious to anyone who makes a tenth of his income. His faith is a deal breaker for many “true” Christians. Every one of his primary opponents excoriated him to the point where they cannot enthusiastically endorse him. The Tea Party has seemingly taken over much of the traditional power center of his party, and the moderate Republicans seemingly have no home. It’s a daunting task, to weave together a party so fractured.
This is a show worth watching. Before it actually became reality, Republican unity seemed so far off that it was easy to dismiss Mitt as it can’t be done, especially by him. Now, it is his only mission, and the right has no other choice. This is the guy who made some success putting together the Salt Lake City Olympics, with all of its diverse interests. This is the guy who negotiated Health Care reform in Massachusetts, with success which he may not readily admit.
It will take supreme efforts of all that politics is good for: re-invention, spinning, lying, money, and more money. The press has seemingly made the pre-emptive first volley. They have found all sorts of clips to document many of the issues on which Mitt and his putative allies will have to back track, and caught him in various untruths already. Most of these are volleys across Mitt’s bow about his electability, his record, his style of pandering, and verbal gaffs. This collection of quotes and photos is a substantial bunch, over which any politician with principles or honor could not leap. Those days are gone, of course. So here’s where I expect chameleon Mitt might just excel.
He will tell the Tea Party he’ll never compromise, and then tell the moderates that people of different stripes can work together if they will just give a little. Paul Ryan will be hailed as a prophet, just as he will praise the common citizen whose benefits will be axed. He’ll promise to not raise taxes, and raise user fees and re-jockey loopholes instead. He’ll promise the AARP that he’ll keep government hands off their Medicare. He’ll ask Obama not to politicize his success with terrorists while buying pizza for New York emergency workers. He will take credit for “success,” which arose from government programs he claims to oppose. The irony truly will have no limit.
You see, for Republicans, loyalty is more important than principle. Defeating Obama is more important than, well, anything. The Republicans will come together, because they know the cost of not doing so. The price to pay will be any sort of integrity.