Then, at the beginning of last summer, I was assured that Texas Governor Rick Perry would take Romney out as the safer conservative choice. That did not happen. I then heard that some of my co-workers were planning to donate to former Senator Rick Santorum’s campaign, thus making it easier for the president to be re-elected.
At some point, this went beyond political analysis to simply wishful thinking. This was not only happening in my office, but at every political water cooler in the country. Yet, Romney continued to stack up delegates.
I remember a guy that I grew up with writing about Romney on Facebook, “Maybe this guy is playing chess while everybody else is playing checkers.”
As it stands now, and it will as this goes to print, Mitt Romney is trailing in the polls in every important state heading into November. Great debate performances do not change polls, but they still matter.
For the last year, Romney supporters have been relatively quiet. The disciples of Bachman, Santorum, Perry, Ron Paul, and Barack Obama have all been more energized. The Romney supporters have been of the “silent majority” persuasion.
Following Romney’s excellent debate performance last week, however, Romney supporters can puff out their chests. Romney’s debate performance matters because it shows the “I’ll guess I have to go with Romney” crowd that they were wrong to doubt his candidacy.
Do you think that Ron Paul would have done as well against the president? What about Rick Santorum? We won’t even get into how easily the president would have dissected Michelle Bachman or Newt Gingrich.
Romney may not win in November, although the polls have been proven wrong before. One thing is certain, however, he was the right nominee for the Republican Party.
Another reason why this debate was interesting was that Republicans usually do not fare well in debates. It is not to say that they are not as good as their Democratic opponents, but the Republican Party likes having the image candidate more than they prefer the intellectual candidate.
Eisenhower was the image candidate, and Adlai Stevenson was more intellectual. Reagan was the image candidate, and Jimmy Carter was more intellectual. George W. Bush was an image candidate, and John Kerry was more intellectual. Inspiration trumps the thought process. This time, however, the Democrats have the image candidate. Romney may have the intellectual edge as a candidate, even if it does not bear fruit in November.
Barack Obama has what Dwight Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant had to their credit: they were pieces of American history. Obama’s election four years ago is one of the most import moments in American history. To defeat him means to run against a major historical figure.
Romney, having dual Harvard degrees, saving the Olympics, and governing Massachusetts, is not a piece of American history. Romney did, however, allow Republicans to watch last week’s debate with a sense of confidence that no GOP nominee in my lifetime has ever accomplished.
Solar and Wind Energy
In last week’s debate, Mitt Romney said that he too supports alternative energy, but “not to the tune of $90 billion,” alluding to the incentives that the president has given to alternative energy programs.
Whenever you get into the billions of dollars in this awkward economy you are talking about serious money. But the president giving $90 billion in incentives is not that dramatic. The incentives we gave big oil companies over the last 50 years are massive.
Once wind, solar, and biodiesel get off the ground, they will require fewer government incentives. This is an investment that is worth it. Sure, there are going to be bad companies like Solyndra, but that is no reason to throw the baby out with the recycled cooking oil.
We are going to benefit from these incentives at some point. Simply put, if we do not subsidize these industries, we are going to be in the same boat 20 years from now with oil-producing countries.