Fred Camillo is a Facebook friend of mine, and just so happens to be a State Representative for Greenwich (R-151), Connecticut. Oh. Did I mention he was single, has a…uh…fondness? lol
The 2012 GOP primary season is shaping to be a ” hair-pulling” and “head-scratching” time for both the Republican Establishment and the rank and file of the Party of Lincoln and Reagan faithful. Just who are these men who would be the heirs of TR, Ike, and the Gipper? Who will be ultimately be the challenger to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama? Will there be a political giant rushing in at a late point in the race and ensuring a brokered GOP convention?
The past and present frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has had a hard time getting over the 25% range of support, a sign that is not lost on pundits who daily point this out on the major media outlets. Mr. Romney’s troubles are multi-pronged and problematic for anyone involved in a primary: he presided over a healthcare initiative that resembles the one he has been criticizing on the Federal level, the infamous Obamacare; his wealth is being held against him, fairly or unfairly; his off-shore accounts are easy targets; and the not often spoken about subject of his religion, something that the late John F. Kennedy and the current President, know something about. Still, he remains ” Mr. Inevitable”, as a friend reminded me the other day.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the man that has come to be Gov. Romney’s main competitor, is the Leo Duroucher of politics … not many love him, lots loathe him, and others just want him on their side. He is entertaining to listen to, engaging, smart, and some would even say visionary. However, the perpetual anger and rocky personal life is not something that is seen as an asset when courting Independents over to the cause. As the legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell used to say, ” time will tell” if Speaker Gingrich can prove the experts wrong, not implode, and win the Presidency.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a social Conservative who makes no excuses for it, nor gives any quarter, is a long shot who got a ” shot” in the arm with his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses. A principled man, he has been hugely outspent by the frontrunners and figures not to be in the running this Summer.
Lastly, we have Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a medical doctor who is the Libertarian choice. Without a doubt, his passionate base of support is wide and strong, even if not very deep … he is the only one of the four who draws support from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. His message of adhering to the Constitution and support for a gold-backed dollar is hitting home with many across the political spectrum.
As we begin election year 2012, President Barack Obama, buoyed by poll numbers that have been treading upward lately, now stands a much better chance at being re-elected than just a few months ago despite polls showing the majority of voters giving him poor marks on his handling of the economy. This is due to many reasons, not the least of which is no “stand above the rest” Republican front runner. That, of course, will change as we get closer to the August convention in Tampa.
Moreover, many are harkening back to 1980 when early polls showed President Jimmy Carter beating Republican challenger Ronald Reagan by 30 points. On Election Day that November, those polls seemed a lifetime away as Ronald Reagan trounced the sitting President, winning 44 states to Carter’s 6. However, this is not 1980 … and no where is there a Ronald Reagan to be seen.
In the end, what the country, the world, and the still fragile economy look like in the fall will most likely determine who will be Number 45, and who will be the footnote whose performance is noted only by historians and future candidates.