The Republican Party, Mitt Romney, And 2012

At this point, before anyone announces their candidacy for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012, it makes sense that the strongest potential nominee is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Romney has the record of having been the favorite of those Republicans who did not want Senator John McCain of Arizona as their Presidential nominee in 2008.

Conservatives rallied around him, even though one could argue that his record in Massachusetts, particularly with the state health care plan enacted in 2006, made him seem more as a moderate to many Republicans.

As the alternative to many Republicans, he stands now in a similar position to Bob Dole in 1996 (after President George H. W. Bush) and John McCain in 2008 (after George W. Bush). In other words, he is, in many people’s minds the heir apparent for the nomination.

Romney’s personal background as a successful businessman and promoter of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and his photogenic appearance and wonderful family image, also help him greatly.

But, at the same time, the fact of the Massachusetts health care plan being very much like the Obama Health Care Plan now in effect, harms Romney, despite his attempt to deny that there is much of a link between the two plans.

And, unfortunately, the fact of his Mormon faith remains a problem for many evangelical Christians, who see the Mormon faith as a cult.

By far the most reasonable choice for the Republicans, the question also arises whether the Tea Party Movement activists will see him as an ally, which at this point seems highly doubtful.

So at this point, Romney will not say if he plans to run. Apparently, President Obama thinks so, however, as he referred this past week to Romney as a presidential nominee.

It will be interesting to see how Romney deals with the problems surrounding his candidacy over the rest of this year.

But also realize that except for Jimmy Carter, it has been the reality, in the last century of American politics, that the party which wins the White House always keeps the control for at least eight years.

So it will not be easy for any Republican to defeat President Obama in 2012, even though one could, theoretically see the President as in trouble, due to the problems with the economy.

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