Let’s just say that the recent CPAC convention was not exactly a “9″ on the Richter Scale. The gathering of conservative political activists most always portends future political winds. All eyes were on this year given the high stakes of the 2012 Presidential campaign for Republicans. Mitt Romney spoke, still not admitting that he is running. Tim Pawlenty, kind of the same. A surprise speech by Donald Trump shook things up more than anything, served with a cherry when Trump announced that “Ron Paul can’t win an election…”. This vibrated the room as the event is routinely stocked with hoards of Ron Paul supporters. It is one of their hat tricks and gathers no more attention than migrating geese.
The more noticeable quake came from outside the event…in the form of a just-released poll that showed President Obama beating proposed front-runners like Sarah Palin and even Mike Huckabee and not by just a little, either. One has to wonder screwed up things have to be before a pragmatist can get a foothold in this race. The New Hampshire Primary is less than a year away. Usually…and you’ll notice I didn’t say “normally”, things are less fluid at this point. Something weird is happening.
At first glance, given the overwhelming win by conservatives in November, the 2012 Presidential race would seem like a given. The economy is in shambles. Obama has failed to come through on nearly every campaign promise. Even the Crown Jewel…Health Care Reform…is in jeopardy and may well end up before the Supreme Court. And yet, there is a “you go first” air about the candidate field. There is the lingering question of whether or not the Tea Party and the Republican Party will become “one”. Or are they “one” already? Depends on who you ask. Michelle Bachman insists that if you abhor the philosophy of the current administration then you are a Tea Party member. Simple as that…and I like that call.
Still…it doesn’t appear as though it’s going to be that simple for others. I sense a division and, worse, I see a lackluster field of hopefuls. Romney has the failed Massachusetts Health Care Reform hanging around his neck like an albatross. He’s got a lot of appeal otherwise, but I don’t see him getting around that. Pawlenty? Sharp cat. I like him a lot, but I don’t know if he’s got that “certain something” that a President really needs to have. Magnitude. Presence. I don’t know exactly what it is…but it’s missing. I want to see him get hot…lose it a little. I want a President with a bit of a temper and who is innately impatient.
Mike Huckabee…been there, done that. I like the guy a lot, I think he’d make a fine President. But we have to WIN this one. It’s not so much about liking someone this time around, I want to like what they stand for…and I want someone who can win.
I’d vote for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a heartbeat on style points alone…but…who knows if he’s running and he’s another one that makes me nervous in the “likelihood of winning” column.
Interested to know what you think…but as of right now…I get a lot more heat from a Marvin Gaye ballad than I got from anyone speaking at CPAC last week.