THE GENERAL FEELING is the same across the Republican sphere. Charles Krauthammer expressed it most eloquently recently: “The Republican bench had several candidates stronger than Romney, but they chose not to run.” That’s their story and they’re sticking to it, which was parroted by John Boehner, which The Hill picked up:
The Ohio Republican made the remarks when an unidentified woman asked during a question-and-answer session: “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?”
“No,” Boehner said. “Listen, we’re just politicians. I wasn’t elected to play God. The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama.
I’m just wondering if this is really true, whether Krauthammer is correct. Are there “several candidates stronger than Romney” who could beat Pres. Obama, but who aren’t running? It’s not easy to vanquish a sitting president, least of all one who ordered the successful killing of Osama bin Laden, saved the car industry, and passed health care legislation, no matter how private-based it is.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said for over a year Obama is beatable, even wrote it in my book. However, the current Republican Party is the problem, not just Mitt Romney. Represented by the idea of Paul Ryan austerity and pulling away from a plan on health care, not to mention their fixation with continuing to add more bloat to the Pentagon, does anyone believe the general public could warm to this crowd any easier than they are to Mitt Romney?
The only argument I see being made is no one could be any harder to elect than Romney, a man who doesn’t relate to anyone but the 1% and whose fetish for secrecy, including on his own finances, is going to become a bigger issue in the fall once people start paying attention.
Then again, Pres. Obama sure isn’t going to be able to sell anyone that he’s half the “change” leader he was marketed to be as a candidate back in 2008. He’s as Wall Street as any politician and always has been, with the privatization of health care codified in law offering few long-term answers. The other reality is if Pres. Obama’s reelected he’ll offer up a “grand bargain” no Democratic leader should ever consider given the fact that raising income could do all that’s needed to “fix” entitlements if we actually had progressives in Congress who had a spine and understood their job is to stand up to the Executive, not suck up to him.