The entry of Rick Perry coupled with Tim Pawlenty’s withdrawal from the primary race has certainly upended matters.
I’m reasonably comfortable with a Perry run as I don’t see any of the previously other declared candidates capable of beating Romney – the current group of Romney opponents is too fragmented in their support (both electorally and financially) to prevail against the establishment support and the impending juggernaut for Romney.
Pawlenty’s withdrawal says that low-key isn’t going to cut it this cycle. Cain and Bachman stir the heart, but Cain’s lack of governmental/executive experience (and Bachmann’s too) against an incumbent President is a huge negative. Obama only got away with it due to 2008 being an open race and plus a worshiping press. Gingrich is appalling and damaged goods; Santorum cannot carry independents, especially once the campaign videos come forward (e.g. “Man on dog”) – nor even carry his home state of PA.
Perry certainly has his flaws in terms of conservative credentials, but given that an Obama win will spell the end to representative democracy in our country, Perry represents an acceptable alternative – and he’s the best I see we’re going to be able to do this electoral cycle. Nobody more “conservative” than Perry currently running (or under speculation) can articulate the case for conservatism and – equally importantly – sell it to enough voters to win the electoral college.
A Romney nomination will totally demotivate the base and deliver the election to Obama. And if Romney decides on the 2008 playbook and tries to bribe the base with someone like Bachmann, his success will match that of McCain. I hope Bachmann is smart enough not to get into Palin’s 2008 shoes.
I’ve thought about a Perry/Bachmann ticket, but that would too close to a Bush/Palin ticket, which just can’t work given the media mugging that that has been going on. Perry will have a hard enough time with the Bush 2.0 image without picking Palin 2.0 as his running mate.
However, we have plenty of time to decide on VP, especially since we don’t know what will be crucial for 2012. Most today assume it will be the economy, but that may not be the case. If defense/foreign affairs become more prominent, for instance, someone like Allen West could be a serious possible.
(BTW I think Michelle brings more to the table than Sarah, but the media has already done enough demonizing as to make her a Palin 2.0 for the swing voters, and that will be a too heavy a load for Perry (or other nominee) to carry. Regrettable but unfortunately that’s reality.)
I do hope that Bachmann stays in the race to push the primary race fulcrum/conversation towards a more conservative point. Again, though, I don’t see a path to President or for VP for her. The media assassins in cahoots with the “feminists” will ensure that.
That’s where I stand at this point. But I am willing to be persuaded.