Is Mitt inevitable?

 
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney campaigning in South Carolina 6 January 2012 Mitt Romney is considered the current front-runner

I suppose you could call it a party within a party. In Iowa I went to a Romney rally in a garage and a caucus in a fire station. Now I am in New Hampshire and Jon Huntsman is making a speech in somebody's front room.

True, it is a very large front room, in an impressive Georgian-style home, overflowing with people who want to hear President Barack Obama's former ambassador to China, former Utah Governor and current least popular, most moderate Republican candidate to be president of the United States.

It is like a giant game of sardines, with bodies filling every inch of the spacious home. Phones and cameras are hoisted aloft to capture his image as the man enters.

Standing in front of the fireplace, Jon Huntsman promises that when he is president he will launch an industrial renaissance, clean out the cobwebs, bring the troops home. He warns that unless action is taken this will not be the American century. A man in the crowd makes a noise like a donkey being hurt, which I take as a sign of approval.

In my corner of the kitchen, those crushed with me against the canapes listen politely. But several have already told me they have already made up their mind. They are going to vote for Mr Romney.

The Republican race, particularly in New Hampshire, but more generally, is beginning to have an air of inevitability about it. Of course, some will maintain the end was always obvious. Conservatives and journalists always hoped otherwise.

An article arguing Mr Huntsman's performance in the Sunday morning debate was his best yet - honest and direct - also concludes that it is too late to pull off a surge. He is now the only candidate not have had one.

A blog in Redstate by an influential conservative all but concedes no current candidate can beat Mitt Romney, but argues that another candidate could come in late in the game.

There is a great article in New York Magazine arguing an alliance of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich could allow the former to win the next leg of this primary contest in South Carolina. But it concludes that to believe that Mr Romney will not win the nomination requires "mixing mescaline and bathtub gin".

Given that fear and loathing in New Hampshire remains unwritten, a Romney win here is pretty much a forgone conclusion. It will mean more voters will jump on his bandwagon.

A Romney nomination seems to many a grim inevitability, like death and taxes. Some Republicans may be sipping from the bathtub before long.

 
Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell North America editor

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 169.

    HungeryWalleye (166),

    “You must have been hibernating during the spring and summer before the health care bill was passed ...”
    You are mistaken. It is because I was aware that President Obama broke Candidate Obama’s promise that can show you that now.

    “... True the public forum wasn't held ...”
    You, unlike others in these threads, have the guts to admit it when I post the facts.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 168.

    115. LucyJ
    Obama caved to the Republicans on the Bush tax cuts for the rich because that was the only way he could keep the middle class tax cuts and extend unemployment benefits. What would you have had him do?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 167.

    10. Magickirin.
    I never would have guessed that Newt and Rick were backed by union PACs. Though it looks like threats of funding loss from the 1% will temper their rhetoric in the future. Fans of vulture capitalism are so paranoid.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 166.

    164. Chryses
    You must have been hibernating during the spring and summer before the health care bill was passed. True the public forum wasn't held, but the content of the bill was publicly discussed and frequently misrepresented. You recall the death panel propaganda from Sara P. and her friends. Cheney completed the whole thing in secret.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Task_Force

  • Comment number 165.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 164.

    .
    HungeryWalleye (163),

    “... Chaney energy policy formulated behind closed doors with their oil and coal buddies”

    That’s no different from the Democrats. During his campaign, Senator Obama said several times that he would negotiate health care reform publicly. He didn’t.
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/517/health-care-reform-public-sessions-C-SPAN/

  • rate this
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    Comment number 163.

    121 rod idog
    You must not have noticed Bush/Chaney with no bid contracts for Haliburton and other Corporate friends, or Chaney energy policy formulated behind closed doors with their oil and coal buddies.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 162.

    136 nonnamei.
    You might want to read a biography of Teddy Roosevelt. You will find he was not a pacifist. The big stick was American military power.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 161.

    78. LimyLady
    If you are interested in honesty in campaigning, check out the Mother Jones article on Romney agitprop..

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/12/quote-day-ads-are-agitprop

    They admit it isn't true and rationalize it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 160.

    How does Mitt account for the fact that there is more social and economic mobility in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, even France than in the U.S. Too bad Americans believe the myth and don't let reality dim their delusions.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 159.

    Romney doesn't have to convince anyone, just keep promising to let corporations decide elections and dodge taxes in return for free ads. And keep his pants on. It's a win-win. Unless, of course, you're not a corporation, need a job or healthcare, or have the slightest clue what's going on.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 158.

    156.Billythefirst

    Who would that be?
    Cameron, Gove and Lansley all support the NHS and universal education. They understand that any attempt to replace the NHS would be opposed by the UK public in a similar way the poll tax was. Out sourcing certain parts to private hospitals (although still free at the point of use to the tax payer) makes no difference to their stance.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 157.

    Any politician needs a sound foundation and starting point to work from, in America's case this is the original Constitution of that land which has very sound guidelines, dare i say like the 10 commandments. The only glimmer of hope is actually Ron Paul who is not corrupt, a believer in the Constitution and abhors America's habit of occupying other countries.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 156.

    #150 TMS
    i look at conservative David Cameron, who supports universal healthcare, education
    ---------
    One of us needs to change our glasses.
    Andrew Lansley is sponsored by Private Health and Michael Gove is a passionate advocate of the US Conservative social economic model (just like Liam Fox was before he got the boot).

    You're right about the frequent misuse of political labels.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 155.

    #132
    I have no idea who you’re talking about or which ideals you believe are consistent with their faith.
    -------------
    You have no idea who or what I'm talking about ?
    What a daft response when I've referred you to #95 twice and we've a Republican contest full of politicians who are committed christians (presumably that can apply to mormons as well?).

  • rate this
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    Comment number 154.

    141: Between 1814 and 1848 we were fighting Native Americans. America is not a peaceful country.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 153.

    58: LimeyLady: One of the reasons the House leadership has such a problem with the rank and file House members is that they did away with entitlements. Before, the House leadership could give entitlements to cooperative members' districts and keep them from others so they had a lot more leverage with the rank and file. Now they can only use moral persuasion. It obviously is not enough.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 152.

    Maybe a NH win for Mr. Romney is like death and taxes, inevitable, but the numbers will matter a lot more than in Iowa or S. Carolina. If he wins 25-35% of the votes only, he is in trouble for the rest of the primaries and for the general election if he gets that far.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 151.

    120.Scott0962
    Very true Scott, and they do try that, although I saw Gingrich calling Romney a "liar" live on Fox News, which is a bit disrespectful. These wounds will need to be healed before the RNC.

    125.Scott0962
    Indeed, perhaps our two politics are not that different after all!

    Many are unhappy with President Obama. But like you say, I'm yet to hear a credible alternative from Romney.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 150.

    97.Billythefirst
    Nail on the head Billy. It's a fundamental problem. Whenever anyone suggests helping the most vulnerable in society, they are branded a socialist, communist or fascist.

    I look at conservative David Cameron, who supports universal healthcare, education and help for the most vulnerable and I see a center-right conservative. Many US conservatives however, see a socialist.

 

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