Thursday, December 08, 2011

2012 Update – The Natural Order in Campaigns – Gingrich as the Non-GOP Establishment Candidate - Obama Campaign Hubris In the Face of the Inevitable

Gingrich, Paul and Romney - The Nominating Process Begins in Four Weeks - image

It goes without saying that a political campaign, much like a beauty pageant, is nothing more or nothing less than a contest, albeit one of immense import. The fact is that candidates in a primary must compete against one another for the top slot and that will evoke mud-slinging in the hopes of gaining points, especially as there are only weeks left before the primaries and caucuses begin. Therefore, one will find that lower tier and top tier candidates will release ads “knocking” one another, or if one candidate is in the lead, knocking one only. These advertisements and press releases, becoming more frequent, sound more desperate than honest – specifically as the aforementioned become more shrill and or “informative” as the time to vote draws nearer. (See: ”Game-Iowa GOP Attacks Target Gingrich” (Yahoo News) . It’s a game that is as old as the nominating process, and one can anticipate much the same in a national election (as the mud-slinging was just as, if not more, egregious when there were only thirteen states).

However, if the establishment political class (those who are in government) and a media hostile to one political ideology and/or party, attempt to knock a front-runner this close to the beginning of the voting process, one can bet the House (and possibly the Senate) that there is good reason – that individual is most likely not going to “play ball” with those entrenched, those elite, and those who would crown a “king” over allowing the “masses” to decide whom they felt would best lead the nation forward. It is obvious that the anti-establishment candidate is one Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, the current GOP front-runner, and the individual preferred by the political class is one Mitt Romney, the former one-term Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who has in recent weeks received endorsements from U.S. Senators, the Bush Family, Dan Quayle (former President H.W. Bush’s, Vice President), numerous pundits and the Fox News Network (which may explain the sudden surge in audience share that CNN is experiencing.)

In an AP article via the Boston Globe “Gingrich Surge Unnerves Some Republican Lawmakers” one is under the impression that Gingrich’s Peers of twenty-odd years ago (that is an established politician – or entrenched.) are horrified at the prospect of Gingrich as leader of the Free World, and notwithstanding, leader of the Republican Party. These few politicians (the five that are named), are not all in the Congress, but in the Senate where they would not have worked quit as closely with Gingrich over his entire career. They point to personal issues, and make statements that are vague or not particularly germane (given the time Gingrich has been out of the Congress) but nevertheless demeaning - and to a man they all support Mitt Romney. As one reads the second page, however, one runs into a similar group - this one a bit more pragmatic; recalling a different Gingrich, one who was focused, one who broke Gridlock. That is the Gingrich the political class fears – one who will get the job done, whether it fits their agenda or no.

In an email from the Romney Campaign, both Mitt Romney and former Governor of New Hampshire John Sununu and Senator Jim Talent will hold a press conference call outlining the many issues those three might have with Newt Gingrich’s “record”. That record is available online at The Library of Congress, and anyone can go back through Newt Gingrich’s entire career to find – baseless allegations being made by those who are in a political campaign.

It is interesting that there is little mention of the fact that the Massachusetts Secretary of State is making available correspondence from Mitt Romney’s time in office. These are hard copy documents, as the then, Romney Gubernatorial staff, purchased Commonwealth Computers and summarily wiped all email correspondence from the hard-drives (see article:here>). This is the type of politics that those living in the 16th and 17th century would find somewhat average, a bit of backstabbing, fabrication and business as usual.

It is for Gingrich, if he is to continue to be the front-runner, to either ignore or answer – to date, he has focused more on policy rather than political attacks on his record dating back two decades. What voters need to ask themselves, and one can believe they may have already done so given the polls, is “Can man (or woman) truly change their minds on an issue in twenty years?” The answer is obvious: anyone with an once of common sense understands that human nature and age and the factors of changes in society, advances in science and technology, allows individuals to change their minds, religion and even political affiliation. Changing one’s mind over the course of two decades is, therefore, not unusual. What is unusual is a change of heart and mind over a period of a year, or a month – that would be someone who could be categorized as a political opportunist.

What is perhaps the most amusing take on the rise of Gingrich and Romney as "underdog" comes from the New York Times in concert with the Obama Campaign Manger, David Axelrod. Axelrod seems to believe that the Democrats are somehow able to influence the Republican Race. That is, of course, somewhat possible (See Mitt Romney accusing Deval Patrick for leaking Romney’s staff erasing their computers contents to the Boston Globe as “politically motivated”.) Then again, with a historically low approval rating, four weeks before the primary and caucus season begins, the Presidents’ campaign should be doing their best to undercut the opposition, down to the last candidate, at the lowest level. The odds are not exactly in their favor, and it is David Axelrod’s job to say the “darndest things”.

What history has proven is a man in last place in any major political party primary, may end up being the winner - that a party will have a clear winner at a nominating Convention and choose to use a method involving “Super Delegates” (those of the political class), to choose another candidate (One who would more easily “fit” what the political “party leaders” desired, rather than say, nominate the woman who actually won the nomination). It is certain that poll numbers can and do change, and that the fortunes of a candidate do not necessarily ride on the polls (unless they have a 20 point advantage four weeks from the actual primary or caucus - then one can make a fairly safe bet on the front-runner). The aforementioned are historical and statistical facts. As we round the corner of December, with two debates scheduled for the GOP, (the next on the 12th of December (Saturday) on ABC at 8:00 Eastern, in Iowa and sponsored by the Des Moines Press Register) it will be those debates and the candidates performances that will reach the millions who will eventually decide who has the mettle to lead. It is part and parcel of the process - it is what makes these United States such an amazing country in which to reside as a citizen. This because, a “ruling political class” can be pushed, and reformed by the simple act of voting, and a leader can emerge by the will of the people, rather than by the will of a “class” pushing one candidate over another. (Of course, as a feminist, one is compelled to mention one more time, that one example where the people’s choice did not materialize, that of the 2008 Democrat Convention).

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