Tuesday, November 13, 2012

HOW ROMNEY BLEW IT

HOW ROMNEY
BLEW IT
_____________________________

Now that I've had a few days to
decompress from my recent
journey to Central America,
can finally weigh in on the
presidential election...
_____________________________

Despite my well-known right wing allegiance, I was not the least bit surprised by the election results. Disappointed, yes. But surprised, no. In fact, I had predicted the outcome precisely, several times in my various posts and columns over the last few months.

But what a painful night it was. First of all, the mere experience of sitting and watching the map on my TV screen turning bluer and bluer was torturous. Secondly, I was out of the country on election night. Out of over three hundred choices on my hotel room TV, the only channel in Nicaragua that offered English-speaking election coverage was the BBC network. And as I discovered, the ONLY differences between the BBC and the Socialist-operated MSNBC are the accents and the chick factor. Simply put, the BBC chicks are hotties. Not "Fox News" hot, but certainly more fetching than the talking heads presented on MSNBC. However, the chick factor was of little consequence as I watched Mitt Romney go down in flames. Finally, only one of my colleagues in Nicaragua was willing to join me in enduring start-to-finish election night coverage — my new bestie, Sean — a 30-year-old admitted diehard Lib. Oddly, Sean provided lively political-based commentary and proved to be a lot of fun to hang out with — even during a harrowing experience such as this.

As I posted previously, Mitt Romney could have won this — if he just hadn't blown it. How did he blow it, you ask? Well, at the risk of over-simplifying the situation, I'll sum it all up in two words — Paul Ryan. While I understand that we vote for the top slot, not the second slot, making a misguided VP choice can be disastrous. John McCain's selection of the ever-yummy Alaskan governor Sarah Palin during his 2008 presidential bid proved to be fatal. Hence, even a political novice can recognize the overwhelming importance of at least not making the wrong VP choice. Personally, I like Paul Ryan. On the surface, the Wisconsin congressman made for a logical choice. And his political future remains bright indeed. However, given the closeness of this particular race, Romney needed to tap a running mate who could appeal to minorities and independents — a large faction that has remained ambivalent toward the GOP.

So, who was the right choice? As I've stated many times, the decision was a no-brainer  — Marco Rubio. The 41-year-old Florida senator is an up-and-coming political superstar, plain and simple. He's wildly popular in his home state — one that he personally would have painted red. And a Romney / Rubio alliance likely would have ignited Latinos outside the battleground state of Florida. Romney had a clear chance to connect with a large block of voters beyond the die hard base that would have supported him regardless of his VP choice. But he chose to play it safe — going with a vanilla-flavored white guy from the Midwest. As a result, we'll be force-fed four more years of hope and change.

But the 2012 election is over and nothing can be done about the outcome. Getting (or staying) angry, hurling Nugent-like insults, denouncing citizenships and running over your spouse won't help either. Conservatives can only get up, dust ourselves off and look to the future.

-Christopher Long
(November 2012)
  

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