On Tuesday, November 6th 2012, the people of America will go to the polls to vote on what many are dubbing the “Obama Referendum.”
The Republican nominee race in 2011 was played for laughs. However, 2012 has, so far, given us a clearer field and a better understanding of what is going to happen. I.e. Mitt Romney will almost certainly win the Nomination. Romney has grown in stature of late, improved his debate skills and had the public backing of Donald Trump. So what on earth can get in his way now? The answer is Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney is rather gaffe prone. Pretty much every word he utters in public is well manicured in advance, however every now and then the real Romney stands up. Most evident in his astonishing claim that he isn’t “concerned about the very poor.” A line which reminds us all of that other public servant, Jesus Christ, who much like Romney was more interested in preserving the “squeezed” middle class.
When pushed, as to what he meant by saying that the very poor were not his concern a stammering Romney explained that the very poor had a “safety net”. The same argument allegedly used by Foxconn bosses in China, who thanks to a real “safety net” no longer worry about depressed employees jumping out the window.
The American people want a President that realizes the tax system is inefficient and unfair, not someone who is happy to let it continue the way it is and reap the personal benefits
Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Just 6 million other people in the United States follow the relatively unknown faith.
So how is this a problem? The most likely area where Romney will take a hit on this issue will stem from the history of institutionalized racism in the Church. Black people were considered a special but inferior creation, by the Mormon Church, which did not allow black Americans to the priesthood until 1978. Now, as many of you reading this are fully aware 1978 wasn’t that long ago was it? Romney was very active in the church at this time, having spent a portion of the previous ten years recruiting new members to the Church in Europe.
Racist policies seem to be socially forgiven in the deep dark depths of the past but in the late 1970s? It is just one of many “grey” areas within the Mormon faith that won’t sit well with many voters, and is difficult to explain away.
Romney has a problem in that no one really knows his politics. The Republican base wants a right wing candidate. Romney has held every political position in the book, often within the same day or sentence. He is a flip flopper of the highest order, which would be fine, but in this digital age everything he has said is on camera. Anyone can throw these video clips together and on viewing, Romney starts to look ideologically nebulous. In that respect he is the utter opposite of fellow candidates Ron Paul/Rick Santorum, who despite some questionable/disgusting beliefs, do actually believe what they say.
Romney is a rich man, easily bracketed in the much-famed 1%. This causes two problems. First, Romney tries to hide his wealth. Romney can claim all he wants that he has “lived on the real streets of America.” Presumably going under the street name of R-Money, but no one is buying it. Especially when he offers $10,000 bets in Republican Debates or claims the $374,000 he earned in a years worth of speaking fees was “not very much” With America’s income inequality at African dictatorship levels is the Monopoly Man made flesh the right pick at this time?
Second, Romney has been and will continue to be pressured to release all his tax documents. Romney claims, correctly, that he has paid “100% of what he owes”. All true, he has done nothing illegal. His problem is that he hides behind a flawed tax system that solely protects his kind and damages everyone else. The American people want a President that realizes the tax system is inefficient and unfair, not someone who is happy to let it continue the way it is and reap the personal benefits in bank accounts at home and abroad.
Everyone loves dogs, everyone but Mitt Romney that is. It was once alleged that Seamus, the Romney family dog, was tied to the roof of their car for 12 hours on a family vacation. When pressed on this claim, Romney shrugged this off explaining that the dog “climbed up there himself” and was kept in an “airtight” kennel for the entire 12 hours. Airtight? He actually said airtight. Surely that can’t be true? Though this would explain why they didn’t hear a peep from Seamus the entire ride and why, the Irish setter, was sound asleep when they arrived, and has been ever since.
Romney will still probably nab the nomination, as the alternatives are simply too weak politically and financially. But even if he goes on to run for presidency, he will have to face all these problems again, but this time under a national microscope against a much stronger rival in Barack Obama.
You can follow Tom on twitter: @twgreaney
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