Mitt Romney: Can't wait for the 2012 presidential result? Read it here now
Spoiler alert! I'm about to reveal who will square off in the 2012 presidential campaign -- and who will win.
So if you don't want to know, stop reading now. Go read my post about classic cars versus modern cars; it's frothy fun fare fit for a Friday (yes, I know this is Thursday, but I like that alliteration!)
Ahem. Back to the political arena.
On the Democratic side, the candidate will be: President Obama.
On the Republican side, the candidate will be: Mitt Romney.
And the winner will be: Obama.
Allow me to elaborate (otherwise, this would be a ridiculously short post that would simply anger those who clicked on it thinking they were going to get meaty analysis.)
Do I really have to explain why Obama will be the Democratic candidate? Didn't think so.
But why Romney? And why won't he win?
First, as one of my colleagues says, Romney is the most sane of the present crop of Republican contenders.
I mean, seriously, Newt Gingrich? This is the presidency we're talking about, not "The Merry Wives of Windsor."
Romney's got experience, he's good-looking, he's not a bad speaker, and he comes across as serious and intelligent. He doesn't have the personal baggage of Gingrich. He isn't a demagogue like Donald Trump. And, unlike Sarah Palin, he actually finished the job when he was governor of Massachusetts.
So why won't he be president? Two words: healthcare reform.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a reform law that in many ways became the basis for Obama and the Democrats' federal healthcare legislation.
And "Obamacare" is now a four-letter word among Republicans.
In a rational world, Romney could take credit for a great achievement -– providing healthcare to many more people in his state -- and steal Obama's thunder in the process, by having done it years earlier.
But many in the Republican Party of today live far, far away from a rational world.
So to win the nomination Romney will have to disavow, or at least back away from, his signature accomplishment.
Will this satisfy his critics? Check out Thursday's story in The Times: "In healthcare speech, Romney seeks a fresh start":
In a blistering editorial, the conservative Wall Street Journal suggested that Joe Biden step down in the 2012 campaign so Romney can run as Obama's running mate.
"The debate over Obamacare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election. On that question, Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible," the paper said.
(My guess is, Romney also refused to pay for an online subscription the Journal.)
As for the Democrats; well, no surprise there, the fangs are already out:
The new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee told ABC on Thursday that Romney is trying to "repeal and erase" his own record.
"Voters want a person of conviction," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
Despite the Republican criticism, I think Romney -- much like John McCain in 2008 -- will emerge as the GOP candidate. But the party's support will be lukewarm. And the machinations he will have to undertake to win the nomination will doom him among independent voters, let alone Democrats.
So I'm heading to Vegas. Gonna put $100 down on Obama.
-- Paul Whitefield
Photo: Why won't Mitt Romney be president? Two words: healthcare reform. Credit: Alex Brandon / Associated Press