--Richard E. Vatz
Forgive me a personal observation: I have been accused throughout my career of being too certain that I am correct regarding my opinions.
This charge is incorrect (I am certain); I am rarely certain of the is, but I am often certain of the ought.
I think Mitt Romney will be the Republican Candidate (the is) , and I am certain he should be (the ought).
Regarding whether he will be the candidate, in addition to his winning Ohio, the latest “must win,” all-important primary, there is a compelling case in The Washington Post by Karen Tumulty (could that last name be a nom de plume?) today to the effect that although the “GOP nomination contest was designed to play out more slowly than in the past,” Romney’s overwhelming delegate lead leaves it implausible to infer that anyone else can catch up.
True, as Tumulty (are you sure that is your real name?) observes, the upcoming Southern primaries are inhospitable to Romney, but contests in April and May will seal the deal. The article quotes Josh Putnam, an expert on the new Republican primary rules, as saying, “Delegate-wise, it’s virtually impossible for Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich to get to [the necessary] 1,144 convention votes."
That brings us to the question of who should be the Republican candidate among these four. Are you kidding? I suppose I could quote much of what I have written in Red Maryland on the unlikelihood of anybody but Romney -- if Romney indeed can -- beating the president, but let’s go one by one regarding assessing who can beat President Obama: Rick Santorum, of the “John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech on the separation of church and state made me want to throw up” fame: I love that speech; I support religious conservatives; let’s just say that kind of inelegant rhetoric, which Santorum claimed the next day he wished he had not said, is just one reason he will never be president.
Newt “Romney is a liar” Gingrich has the brains, but not the temperament or judgment to be president. I could give you several more examples, but no majority of Americans would feel secure with Newt at the helm. A parenthetical point: the world is awash in brilliant people with terrible judgment -- you don't want one as president.
Ron Paul is one of about 15 people who share with me the “Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties.” I like Ron. I like my irresponsible cousin Phil, too, but I wouldn’t want him to be president. Isolationism can be successful for a year or two, and then the world falls apart.
There is, as 7950 pundits have pointed out, a lack of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney. There will be sufficient enthusiasm by November or even September. Still, there is that anti-Morman prejudice found by the Pew survey and Quinnipiac polling that concerns me, but he will still get the nomination, I think.
Mitt Romney should be the Republican nominee – I am certain.
Professor Vatz teaches Persuasion at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
--Richard E. Vatz