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May 16, 2011
The Republican field winnows itself down
Normally the primary season begins with the Iowa caucuses in January of an election year. However, it appears the Republican Party has decided to start the weeding out process 7 months earlier.
It is not the voters or caucus attendees who are making the ultimate decision, but the foibles, stupidly and voluntary withdrawal of potential nominees. The question is: how many will be standing by January 2011.
First, foibles or stupidity of candidates: Mitt Romney in an inexplicable and stubborn turn of events refuses to acknowledge his monumental error in the passage of RomneyCare in Massachusetts. The state is now saddled with cost overruns, lack of care and loss of doctors. The exact problems facing ObamaCare which is a clone of the Massachusetts disaster. Romney seems more intent on saving face than running for President and winning. Thus he is no longer a viable choice and should save his own and his donors' money and not declare his candidacy.
Then there is Newt Gingrich, who this past week-end slammed any need for Medicare reform and gave a tacit nod toward ObamaCare. There is no doubt that entitlement programs are spiraling out of control and are in desperate need of reform. Paul Ryan and the Republicans have made a valiant effort to bring the subject to the forefront for real conversation, and now have been undermined by Gingrich's comments. He seems to believe that he can win the presidency by the old tried and true Democratic strategy: finesse and obfuscate the issue of entitlements as the citizenry is too stupid and selfish to understand. Thus the ex-Speaker has eliminated himself from consideration as a serious person, and should follow Mitt Romney back into the wilderness.
Ron Paul continues to be a fountain of mind-blogging statements, particularly in foreign affairs. He has never been and never will be a viable candidate that can appeal to broad spectrum of the electorate except to siphon votes from others in the primaries.
As for those who have voluntarily opted out or are not seriously considering a run: Mike Huckabee, who did well in the 2008 primary season, claims his heart is not in it. Chris Christie refuses to be wooed by a desperate party in need of viable candidates. Sarah Palin demurs as she, no doubt, has to consider facing again a vituperative media and the baggage already accumulated. Donald Trump has also decided not to face the media onslaught and run for the presidency.
The Republican establishment is placing their bets on Mitch Daniels, who is in the throes of indecision and family issues. Unless his heart is really in it and he has a real fire in the belly that enables him to go after Obama, he can never beat him in a general election. From his public pronouncements and demeanor he does not have that determination.
So the Party as of May of 2011 is left with what the mainstream media refers to as the second tier. (The fact that Obama in May of 2007 was not even being seriously considered as a second or third tier candidate for the Democratic nomination is immaterial.) But among those Republicans are excellent possibilities that do not carry the baggage of a Gingrich, Romney or Paul and have a real determination to win at all costs and by the use of all political tactics available.
It is time Newt, Mitt, Ron et al to drop out or not declare, and for those on the fence to make a decision, realize their liabilities and shortcomings and allow the people to choose a new and accomplished person to carry the banner in the upcoming all out war with Obama, the Democrats and the mainstream media without the distractions these no longer viable candidates create. The time to begin the campaign is now as it will take constant repetition of Obama's failures to defeat him in November 2012.