After Chris Christie and Sarah Palin bowed out, it looks like the GOP field is set. Basically it has come down to three candidates: Romney, Cain and Perry. In reality, it’s more like Romney and the non Romney.
Conventional wisdom has Perry floundering, but I don’t believe it. He could not have raised a stunning $17 million in 42 days, a big amount for the quarter and especially large considering it was not the full 90 days, and that be true. Even though the last debate seemed to lower his popularity, his campaign indicated that he was bringing in about 320,000 a day before it; after the last debate it went to 423,000 a day. Notable, too, is his campaign style. In the last Texas gubernatorial race he started out 20 points behind Kay Bailey Hutchison. Perhaps it’s Texas hold ’em, but he came from behind to win easily. His staff eschews the usual phone calls and bumper stickers. They play a different kind of campaign. He’s not done.
Cain may have bumped up a few notches lately, but I doubt he can sustain the momentum. His money raising so far has not been large. The media are just now launching into him. He’ll probably fall into their spider web. More on this topic later.
No, the true race is going to be Romney vs. not Romney. I heard an interesting conversation on the radio this morning. Mike Gallagher said Romney will not come on his show. It has to do with his Mormonism. Gallagher raised questions about it in 2008 and said Romney cut him off after that. Gallagher’s not alone; Memphis radio host Ben Ferguson also brought up the topic. He got a lot of flak for it, but he had a point. As broad minded as people think they are, when Obama lets drop about Mormon practices and beliefs, such as the Garden of Eden was in Missouri and their customs of special underwear, it will hurt Romney. Many will be turned off and reject him.
Chris Wallace told Gallagher that Romney won’t come on his show either. He won’t appear on any Sunday talk shows. Why? Wallace’s explanation is that he doesn’t want to face hard questions. That’s surprising since it’s his second turn on the dance floor.
Romney’s biggest problem, which may be keeping him from much questioning, is, in the words of a blog commenter, he’s an “opportunistic weathervane.” He’ll talk a good conservative message at the CPAC convention or similar venues, but his stewardship of Massachusetts tells a different story. Sooner than later the health care issue will come back to bite him in the, well you know what.
Although the media wants to steer us into a done deal of their making, it isn’t over by far. I believe that the public will chip away at the masks and find the best candidate. Then, I think that person can easily go on to defeat Obama.