Welcome to the third installment of the Iowa Defense Alliance Caucus Countdown. Please remember that the order that I am placing the candidates in is not necessarily where I think they will finish in the race, but rather their positioning in the Countdown is their acceptability based upon my preferences. My preferences are almost entirely subjective with very few criteria in place. And again the Countdown is progressing from the worst (#7) to first (#1). Now, if you have not been following the recap I will give a quick synopsis. The candidate that found himself in dead last (#7) was former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman whose main failing was refusing to campaign in Iowa. Next in line (#6) we have Texas Congressman Ron Paul whose position is almost totally dependent upon his reluctance to protect all Americans and his belief that Iran poses no threat to world peace. This brings us to candidate #5 to which I had some difficulty deciding on. In the end it was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney that succeeded in being ranked number five on my list.
For me it is very hard to find anything at all to like about Mitt Romney. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible, just not very likely. For instance in the midst of the debacle that was the UAW bailout I found myself in agreement with Governor Romney. Despite the few agreements I have with Governor Romney, I cannot ignore the reality that many of his positions have indeed changed between his Governorship and his first Presidential campaign.
Let’s take the issue of abortion for an example. During his first campaign (2002) for Governor of Massachusetts Governor Romney brazenly proclaimed that he would “protect a woman’s right to choose” whether she has an abortion. But just five years later Governor Romney switched his position on this important issue by claiming that he is now firmly pro-life. Personally I am pleased that Governor Romney has seen the error of his past positions and has come to the conclusion that all life is precious. However, the timing of his change of heart still causes me concern. The timing of his conversion seems to be all too convenient if you ask me.
The issue of healthcare is another albatross that Governor Romney will have to bear. It is common knowledge that President Barack Obama used Governor Romney’s 2006 Health Care Reform as the basis for Obamacare. And despite his objections; Governor Romney has in the past, advocated for an Obamacare style health care reform with individual mandates on the federal level in the past. However unlike most of the other candidates in the race, Governor Romney is not campaigning on repealing the entirety of Obamacare, a point I vehemently disagree with him on. Instead Romney is campaigning on a plan to repeal the bad portions of Obamacare and keeping the good. From any other candidate that would be a great point to highlight, however with Romney it leaves us wondering just what he considers bad and good in the plan. With Romney I think it is entirely possible that we could end up keeping the individual mandate. So when it comes to health care it is again difficult to determine just where Romney stands.
I have to admit, when the 2012 Caucus season began to pick up steam back March and April of 2011, Governor Romney was for all intents and purposes at the bottom of my potential candidate list. To have him reach an almost dead heat with the candidate that came in fourth is a testament to just how weak the 2012 field really is. With that said, I would still find it hard for me to cast a ballot at the Iowa Caucus for Mitt Romney. His positions on the issues that I find important seem to have their foundations built upon shifting sands. The timing of his “changes of heart” seems to be a little too convenient for me and leave me wondering when his next “change of heart” will happen. With Governor Romney it all comes down to the trust factor, and with him, I just can’t trust.
The big news of the weekend was not just football. There was “news” out of New Hampshire. And in the words of a Shania Twain song: “That Don’t Impress Me Much!”
Mitt Romney is now touted by some in the media as the ‘clear front runner’ after he ‘solidly’ wins the New Hampshire Straw Poll with 35% of the votes from 273 of the 426 registered voters.
I will highlight what some sources are saying about this solid (?) win:
Romney is perhaps best known for instituting universal health care in MA, which became the model for the health care law sponsored by Democrats in Congress and passed last year.
Former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney cleaned house in a hyped New Hampshire straw poll yesterday, even as his national poll numbers show signs of trouble. “All of a sudden he has lost the aura of being a front-runner because he’s falling behind in polls and because of Romneycare,” said GOP strategist Todd Domke, referring to Romney’s role in passing Massachusetts’ historic health-insurance mandate. “I don’t think this offsets the perception that he’s weak, with no momentum. Romney’s showing reflects his field organization in New Hampshire rather than his national popularity,” Domke said.
The biggest drama in tomorrow’s straw poll will likely center around how much Romey wins by. If his support in the straw balloting is lower than his poll numbers — around 40% in a multi-candidate field right now — it will likely be sold by observers as bad news for Romney.
(Worth noting: While fewer than 300 state committee members voted in the presidential straw poll, 421 members cast ballots in the race for state party chairman — a reminder that it’s wise not to read too much into the straw poll results.)
Speaking of a clear front runner I personally prefer these poll results for Mike Huckabee:
Iowa votes for Mike Huckabee!
Texas votes for Mike Huckabee!
And nationally voters support Huckabee with this mention of Romney:
Romney isn’t so lucky, according to PPP. He’s not particularly popular among conservative voters, who give him only a 55 percent favorability rating. That’s compared to 74 percent favorability from conservatives for Huckabee and 73 percent for Palin.
Mike Huckabee has said he will make his all important decision about entering the 2012 Presidential race sometime this summer. In the meantime there will be numerous other polls that those who follow politics will read, debate, and promote. Meanwhile Huckabee has Iowa voters who are quietly and diligently working to be ready to jump into action. Just for good measure Huckabee is Chuck Norris Approved and he has an Army. We are grassroots and ready to roll for Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee is our clear front runner.