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Monday, January 30, 2012
Politics ...

The GOP Presidential nomination circus is still going strong. Newt Gingrich’s campaign should be dead and Romney should be the defacto nominee by now. But as I said in a previous blog, Gingrich flourished back in the Bill Clinton days of the 1990s, and something of that old Clinton instinct rubbed off on him. (Perhaps it’s really an “anti-Clinton” force, given Newt’s crafty negativity and scowls as compared with the Old Dog’s crafty optimism and smiles). So Gingrich somehow convinced enough anti-Washington / pro-family conservatives that he shared their anger and would serve them best, despite the fact that Gingrich built his life around Washington and open marriages. For now, anyway. Newt has a way of blowing up his own bandwagon, once it gets rolling. And Mitt is finally learning to take his mitts off and swing a few knuckles back at Mr. Gingrich.

But it still looks like a close race right now (although Romney seems to have gained advantage in tomorrow’s Florida primary). The two remaining also-rans, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, could swing the final outcome. Dr. Paul will probably take all his delegates to the GOP convention floor, just for the glory of the cause.

But Rick Santorum looks like a more pragmatic sort, a more typical politician as opposed to a ‘true believer’ like Paul. My question is, who would Santorum sell out to? He would make a more logical VP candidate for Gingrich, given the north-south, Baptist-Catholic axes that would result. With Romney you would have two north-easterners, one a Mormon and one a Catholic (although Marco Rubio, who still runs strongest for GOP VP on Intrade, is also Catholic). Those religions are not highly popular within the Southern and Mid Western / Prarie regions, which are the GOP heartland (as Rubio seems to know — despite his Catholic background, he attends an evangelical mega-church). But if Romney bought Santorum out and the Santorum supporters followed, the Gingrich insurgency would be over, for good (Santorum still has a 16% share nationwide, according to today’s Real Clear Politics average).

So, I’m following the fate of Rick Santorum. Ah, who would have thought last summer, when the candidates were lining up at the starting blocks, that Santorum with his 2-3% poll ratings would end up in the drivers seat for the VP slot. Or so it seems to me right now (but yes, Santorum didn’t campaign in Florida and may be running out of steam). We shall see how my prediction pans out. If Romney wins Florida tomorrow by more than 10 points, perhaps he doesn’t need Rick. If Gingrich closes to within 5 points, though — Romney might indeed need him. But it’s all still a shot-in-the-dark, given how chaotic GOP politics have become this year!

◊   posted by Jim G @ 9:55 pm      
 
 


  1. Jim, You think Santorum is looking for the VP slot on the GOP ticket. I have been thinking that Gingrich is working mighty hard for that same place. Even tho Romney and Gingrich have been getting “not nice” with each other lately, all that would fade fast if it came down to the convention and Gingrich held a bunch of seats that he wouldn’t give up to Romney unless he was made VP nominee on the ticket.

    And then again, the way things have been going lately with the GOP nominees, something entirely different could happen. I heard some place that if Gingrich won the top place on the ticket (which doesn’t seem likely at this point, but who knows?), the GOP big wigs would drag Jeb Bush, kicking and screaming, and make him the nominee, whether he wanted it or not.

    Who knows? Now wouldn’t that be something: Another Bush in the White House! Oh, boy! Well, the fact is that only time will tell what happens. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — January 31, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

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