Mitt Romney’s official announcement – even with the free chili – will not do anything to change the view that this is one of the weakest republican fields that’s been seen in a very long time. Sarah Smith blogs.
Poor old Mitt Romney. Every poll says that he is front runner to become the next Republican candidate for president. Some people even think he has good chance of becoming the next US president. So the day he officially declares his candidacy should be a big deal. But it really wasn’t.
On Thursday, as he made his long expected announcement that he is running, he went so far as to hand out free portions of his wife’s famous chili for the assembled press corps at the Bittersweet farm in New Hampshire. And bittersweet must have been the mood as well. But the whole event was totally overshadowed by Sarah Palin. It is not a coincidence that she chose to hold a clam bake just a couple of miles way on exactly the same day.
Of course the huge tornado damage in nearby Massachusetts didn’t help. Sarah Palin turned that into a photo op – for Romney it was yet another distraction.
Sarah Palin has not declared whether or not she will be a candidate for president. She is having far too much fun teasing the press and the public about her intentions to give the game away just yet. But she is driving up the east coast, on what she claims is a family holiday, in a great big bus that looks a lot like a campaign vehicle indulging in photo ops everywhere she goes. And she’s succeeding in grabbing all the attention along the way.
Despite the fact that he comes top of every poll of possible Republican contenders Mitt Romney has some significant hurdles ahead of him. The most serious is “Romenycare,” the healthcare policy he introduced when he was governor of Massachusetts that looks a hell of a lot like “Obamacare” – the healthcare reforms introduced by the president and absolutely detested by nearly all Republicans. There is also the rather distressing story about how he once tied the family dog to the roof of the car when they were driving off on holiday. But by far the biggest hurdle is that he is one more boring man in a line up of very boring men.
A recent poll showed four in ten Republican voters are unhappy with the candidates they are being offered. When asked to choose a word that summed up the field, “unimpressed” was the most commonly selected. “Incompetent” came up a lot, as did “weak” and “unknown”.
Mitt Romney’s official announcement – even with the free chili – will not do anything to change the view that this is one of the weakest republican fields that’s been seen in a very long time. Some potential candidate are choosing not to get into the race in 2012 because they think it will be easier to win the general election in 2016 when there isn’t a an incumbent president (and VP Joe Biden is unlikely to run). But Barack Obama isn’t unbeatable. No American president since FDR in 1936 has won reelection if the unemployment rate is over 7.2 per cent on election day. Right now US unemployment is over 9 per cent and stubbornly refusing to come down.
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