I started writing this on Nov. 10, 2012, shortly after the presidential election. I saved it as a draft and meant to finish it later. Well it’s later…. two and a half months later. I added a sentence at the end, but everything else was from November.
I’m combining a lot of thoughts regarding the election into one post.
Being in Louisiana, I predicted Romney would carry the state with 60% of the vote. He only had 55% though. I voted for Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. Gary Johnson was my second choice. I have friends in the CP and was an elector for their candidate Chuck Baldwin in 2008. I also predicted my new U.S. Representative (after redistricting) Steve Scalise would get re-elected with 60% of the vote. I voted for Gary King who finished with around 9%. We went from 7 district to 6. 5 were re-elected pretty easily. One district has a run-off with two incumbents facing off. The 7 incumbents averaged around 70% of the vote.
So onto the presidential election. The popular vote was pretty close, about 50% to 48%. (I read that some military ballots won’t be counted because they were delivered too late. This could be interesting, but I doubt it will end up being anything significant.) So what happened? Some are attributing demographics and the Republicans inability to reach out to minorities. That may have played a role, but I think it’s being over stated. And I’m sure some would not have voted for the Democratic candidate had he been (completely) white (or had the skin tone of a white person). The Republicans maintained control of the House, and all 435 seats were up for election. That means some people voted for a Republican Representative and a Democratic President.
Those things are all minor. There are two big things. The first is that the Republicans picked a bad candidate. Exit polls in the primary showed people picking the guy they said could beat Obama. While I don’t put a whole lot of trust in exit polls, turns out that was a bad reason to vote for Romney. Romney ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against Ted Kennedy. Romney said he was to the left of Kennedy. He supported legal abortion which is a big no for any Republican running for president. In 2002 he was elected governor. During his term, he came up with the healthcare plan that Obamacare is said to have been based on. He chose not to seek a second term in 2006. Somewhere after getting elected governor in 2002 and announcing his intentions to run for president in 2007 for the 2008 election, he became pro-life. It was also during his term that the Mass. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Some felt didn’t do enough to fight against it. So had a guy in the 10 or so years prior to running for president, you had a guy who supported legal abortion, supported healthcare mandates, and seemed indifferent on gay marriage. As bad as Obama is, a lot of conservatives were not motivated to support Romney.
Even though Romney was not a great candidate, he still had a chance at winning, but he alienated a certain segment of potential Republicans. He actions told these people he did not need or did not want their votes. So on election day, they did not vote for Romney. Of course I am referring to Ron Paul supporters. Romney’s campaign and the Republican establishment cheated Paul supporters out of delegate spots they had won by playing by the complicated set of rules set forth by they (the Republican establishment) set up to intentionally be complicated. They mistreated them at the convention. Rather than letting Paul speak at the convention, they aired a “tribute video”. They did not even read Paul’s name when the delegates were actually voting. If you were a Paul supporter, no matter how bad Obama is, would this really motivate you to vote for Romney?
Even after Romney had the nomination wrapped up (delegate wise), his campaign was still cheating. But Paul would often get more supporters at his rallies than Romney did. His supporters are enthusiastic. Had he been the Republican nominee, he and not Obama would have carried the youth vote. He would have been a far different candidate from Obama compared to Romney.
Speculation has already begun on who will run in 2016. Biden and Hillary Clinton are names coming up for the Democrats. Perhaps Gov. Andrew Coumo of New York. On the Republican side, I can think of a few more: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Louisiana’s own Bobby Jindal. Maybe Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich who ran this year. But if Republicans want to win, they will reject all of these potential candidates. While there are probably a few others, the one candidate who can win is Rand Paul.
Rand may have turned off some of his father’s supporters by endorsing Romney, but it may get him in a little closer with the establishment. He seems not quite as pure as his father but still light years better than anyone else listed as a potential candidate.
Added Jan. 28, 2013: Seems Rand made some shock waves in D.C. this week at Sec. Clinton’s hearing. Definitely our best chance in 2016.