Glasgow, Scotland — As I stayed up until 6am this morning, feeling like the only person in Scotland following the events of the Iowa Republican primary thanks to numerous dodgy streams of MSNBC and CNN, as well as Twitter, one thing jumped out at me… Iowa was it for the Republican Party. If the message hasn’t got through to republicans after these caucuses, it never will. Mitt Romney is a weak candidate.
What reaffirmed my opinion of the weakness of Mitt Romney? Rick Santorum.
Now don’t get me wrong, Rick Santorum is weak as well, but to have virtually no money and be out spent by a large margin by Romney and still place in second by a hair is remarkable. Mitt Romney won in Iowa by a handful of votes… okay, about a handful and a half. He was unable to better his total for 2008, which a lot of people are belittling, but which I believe is significant as Iowa is a super critical state of President Obama in the general election. But what should have alarm bells ringing in the Romney camp is the Santorum’s speech which directly proceeded Romney’s speech.
Now, I just about disagree with everything Santorum stands for (while funnily enough have areas of agreement with Romney) – but despite this, last night, I felt Santorum’s blue collar message was extremely powerful. The story he told of his grandfather and the disappearance of manufacturing jobs is more powerful than anything I have heard come out of Romney’s mouth. How did Romney respond? By giving a rambling, unfocused and quite frankly awkward version of his stump speech. Mitt Romney is not a great speaker at the best of times but next to Santorum, he looked and sounded awful.
Mitt cannot effectively articulate the conservative message and he doesn’t make a sharp enough contrast to Barack Obama. Communication is just as important as their respective resumes.
Now with a wounded Newt Gingrich who is after Romney’s political blood and the likelihood that the majority of candidates will be focusing their targets on the former Massachusetts Governor, the road to November doesn’t look as smooth as it otherwise might have done. His experience and history will surely be put to the fire and for me the absolutely critical flaws of Romney, such as Baine Capital, his steadfast defence and membership of the 1%, his flip flopping and, most important of all, RomneyCare will be exposed.
If Santorum, Huntman or Gingrich can’t kill Romeny’s candidacy off, Obama will, make no doubts about that. The most humorous thing about the GOP at the moment is its suffering of Obama derangement syndrome. According to the Republican Party, Obama is the worst most ineffective President of all time, while his legislative record states otherwise.
The Republicans should be under no illusion about the formidableness of President Obama. He is by far the most skilled politician of my generation and his campaign team have been putting together a campaign strategy on Romney that could fill a reasonable library.
Iowa should have finally convinced the GOP to take the race seriously, to think hard about Mitt Romney and to finally respect their opponent that is in the White House.
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