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Romney vs. Obama

14 December 2007

A short detour into things political; disagreements are welcome.

Summary: At this point in her political history, the United States deeply needs a sea change in her collective rhetoric and her collective outlook. The best thing for our republic would be a presidential race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

This is one quasi-evangelical who will not be voting for Mike Huckabee in the Republican primary here in the great state of Texas. He’s not a fundamentally bad guy, but something’s just not right, and I can’t put my finger on it just yet. Plus, the GOP needs to reach into New England to diversify its national base, and Giuliani’s not the way to do it. Romney has the tools, the integrity, the message and the presence to take the GOP in the direction it needs to go. I’m a Texan through and through, but GOP cannot afford to become a “solid south” political ghetto, Karl Rove’s former strategies notwithstanding. If Romney can accomplish what he has accomplished from a base in Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts, one underestimates Romney at one’s peril.

On the Democrat side, John Edwards will not serve the Dems well; his innate hypocrisy and priggish self-righteousness (see also Albert Gore) will make him unelectable, and the GOP would win in an anachronistic landslide, one that does not reflect the current state of the U. S. electorate. Hillary Clinton is too angry, too shrill, too calculating, too self-consciously entitled to the Oval Office, and she would be a disaster for the nation. (Note to the GOP: she needs to be defeated at the primary level if you want the White House; don’t count on her being an easy mark because of her polarizing personality.) Barack Obama has the disposition and the tools to carry the Democratic message of change; he would acquit himself nicely on the national stage, and he would be competitive in the big, purple states like Ohio and Missouri.

We need a campaign that suppresses our most malignant political demons, our childish inclinations to pettiness, puerility, and shrillness. We need measured, careful discourse about substantive matters. We need to bring the rhetorical temperature down low enough where we can consider the most important aspects of what it means to be the United States of America instead of simply comparing two lists of cynical, political hand-outs intended to cobble together a makeshift coalition just long enough to build a critical voting mass…a coalition doomed to reBalkanize right after the 2009 Inaugural Ball.

It’s now abundantly clear that Romney and Obama are a different breed, and they ought to be given a chance to demonstrate it…together.


P.S. It’s gratifying to know after posting this that THREE national columnists agree on the danger that a Huckabee nomination would pose for both the GOP and the USA. See these columns by Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, and George Will.


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