Thursday, February 7, 2008
Then There Were Three: Goodbye Mitt, We Hardly Knew You
Now that Mitt is out and heading back to Missouri aka the Garden of Eden (okay, cheap shot I know, but just had to get one in for Lawrence O'Donnell considering Romney's cheap shot about Democrats wanting to surrender the war on terrorism). See transcript from the McLaughlin Group on 12/07/07 http://www.mclaughlin.com/library/transcript.asp?id=629)
The Republican race has now dwindled to three: McCain, Huckabee and Paul. While not exactly the modern version of the three wise men of yore, each of them has good qualities and positions, but on the whole none of them is the complete package.
I actually use to respect McCain before he forgave Bush for the 2000 South Carolina primary dirty tricks, sucked up to Falwell and Leiberman, and most recently, reversed his opinion on Bush tax cuts for wealthiest of wealthy in a shameless ploy to buy votes from the stupid, greedy and selfish. On the other hand, McCain did take a courageous stand on immigration considering he comes from the party of Tom Tancredo.
Huckabee, of the three, has the most credibility; except of course for the fact that he associates with the worst actor in history, this side of Sly Stallone, Chuck Norris. Seriously, Mike Huckabee has the best ear for the electorate since Bill Clinton. There must be something in the water in “The Natural State" aka Arkansas. I greatly admire Gov. Huckabee for speaking economic populism to the party that sold out the middle class to K Street and its wealthy corporate clients.
Perhaps most importantly, Mike Huckabee is authentic. That is something that certainly could not be said of the recently departed Romney; a man whose whole campaign was centered, at least in the final month, around economic issues and then goes out in a blaze of rhetoric about national security in a time of war. Flip or flop? I've lost track. But hey, Mitt certainly looked presidential, didn't he?
Lastly, and I mean lastly...Ron Paul is dead... on right about the Iraq war, he simply is not realistic on a timetable for withdrawal and a strategy for national security afterwards other than 1930's style isolationism. There is a middle ground you know, Congressman Paul. I do like Paul's libertarian leanings though, especially on issues involving individual rights and morality. Paul will be best remembered for his grassroots campaign, fundraising acumen and igniting interest in the political process among the young and disaffected.
I am going out on a short, sturdy limb here and will predict that McCain picks Huckabee as his running mate, if he is smart. It would give the Republican ticket balance, both ideologically and geographically. Besides, you could not have a more likeable, well-spoken counterweight than Huckabee to the often gruff and disagreeable McCain.
Another good choice along those lines would be the much discussed, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. But frankly, after the I35W bridge collapse and controversy surrounding his administration’s lack of funding for the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation, this would be a real long shot. (Not to mention the controversy over Pawlenty's Lt. Governor wearing two hats, the other being Commissioner of Transportation even though she has no professional qualifications.)
Perhaps the most ridiculous prognostication is the early analysis by pundits that Romney was reaching out to McCain with his withdrawal speech today to maybe be included on the ticket or in McCain's cabinet should he be elected. McCain/Romney? Right! About as much a chance as the Giants winning the Super Bowl!