Tag Archives: 2012 election

Watch this intraparty battle get real hot

Mitt Romney wants to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Utah.

His candidacy will depend on whether Orrin Hatch seeks re-election next year. Hatch, the Senate’s longest-tenured Republican, hasn’t yet made his decision.

But, oh my, this fight is getting nasty before it’s even started.

You see, Mitt is no fan or friend of Donald John Trump. He has called the president a “fraud” and a “phony.” The president’s wing man, former White House strategist Stephen Bannon, has decided to suggest that Mitt was a draft dodger, that his religious mission work in France during the Vietnam War was a tactic to keep him from serving in the military.

Romney’s allies in Utah are coming to his defense. They have blasted Bannon for questioning Romney’s love of country, his patriotism, his character; Bannon even took a swipe at Mitt’s entire family.

Hatch defends his friend

There has been some speculation that Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, might run even if Hatch decides to seek another term. I would doubt that will occur.

My hope is that Mitt goes for it. I also hope Hatch decides to retire. He’s been on the job for decades. Hatch, at times, has shown an ability and willingness to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats; my guess is that Romney could do the same if he gets elected.

As for Bannon — the guy that Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly fired — he ought to tone down the tough talk. It’s unbecoming.

What’s more, Romney has done more in service to his country than Bannon ever thought of doing.

Finally, Romney happens to be right about the president, someone I consider to be the phoniest fraud ever to occupy the office. A U.S. Senate seat would give him a wonderful platform to hold the president accountable for his words and deeds.

Mitt was ahead of his time

It’s time for a serious mea culpa.

Mitt Romney once declared during the 2012 presidential campaign that Russia presented the “greatest geopolitical threat” to the United States of America.

I was one of millions of Americans who laughed at the Republican presidential nominee.

Five years later, I regret laughing. I regret dismissing Mitt’s assessment. I regret writing some negative blog posts about what the nominee said.

We are learning today — and in the course of the Donald J. Trump campaign and his presidential administration — that the previous GOP nominee was ahead of his time.

It can be argued, I suppose, that international terrorists presented a greater geopolitical threat than Russia in 2012. Our special forces had just killed Osama bin Laden, but al-Qaeda was still going strong. The Islamic State had emerged as a monstrous threat as well.

The Russians, to my mind, seemed at the time to have been relegated to a back bench.

Silly me. Mitt Romney seems to have been spot on.

The Russians are undermining NATO; they invaded Ukraine; they are propping up a murderous regime in Syria. They also sought to affect the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The startling revelation today from Donald J. Trump Jr. that he accepted a meeting invitation anticipating dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton from the Russian government suggests an existential threat to this nation’s sovereignty.

There’s still a lot of ground to cover before we determine any criminality on the part of the Trump presidential campaign. However, I do believe it is becoming quite clear that the Russians remain a force with which we must reckon.

Gov. Romney, I hereby apologize for doubting you.

Here’s the most meaningless debate imaginable

Well now … let’s commence the most meaningless political discussion possible, shall we?

Who would have won if Barack H. Obama had been the candidate opposing Donald J. Trump in this year’s presidential election.

The president of the United States says he’d win. The president-elect — big surprise here — disagrees.

The meaninglessness lies in the indisputable fact that we’ll never know the answer. The U.S. Constitution bars the president from seeking a third term, thanks to its 22nd Amendment.

But as long as the president has introduced this silly argument, I’d like to carry it a bit further.

I believe he would have won. Why? He’s got a ton of political moxie. He would have surrounded himself with he best political strategists possible. He would not have taken anything or any voter group for granted. Obama would not have “played it safe,” as he said Hillary Clinton did. He would have made mincemeat of Trump in any number of televised joint appearances.

There. That’s my view.

However, it’s only my speculation, just as it is anyone’s speculation — including Barack Obama himself — about how an Obama-Trump contest would have ended.


Here, though, is a bit of reality to toss into the mix.

Consider the context of the 2012 presidential election. Obama’s presidency was considered by many experts to be on the ropes as he prepared to run against the Republican nominee, who turned out to be Mitt Romney, another formidable and successful businessman — who also had political experience as a one-term governor of Massachusetts.

The economy wasn’t performing all that well. The Affordable Care Act was being vilified as a failure. The Republicans saw a huge opening for their nominee as the campaign commenced.

Oh, but what happened? Obama used his crack political team to target selected audiences in various regions of the country and hammered Romney relentlessly over comments the GOP rival had made. Recall the “47 percent” gaffe.

Obama ended up winning the election by a comfortable margin: 5 million ballots and 332-206 Electoral College votes.

Would he have defeated Trump? I believe so.

However, it’s a silly debate to have.

President Obama is leaving office in less than a month. Donald J. Trump is the man of the hour.

No goodbye for Goodhair

Come on, y’all. You didn’t really think Gov. Rick Perry was going to say “farewell” at the Texas Republican Party convention in Fort Worth, did you?

Oh, no. The man dubbed by the late columnist/humorist Molly Ivins as Gov. Goodhair said, according to the Texas Tribune, said, in effect, “See y’all later.”

You know what that means. He wants to run for president of the United States in two years.


Great! Just great!

Perry did a thorough job of embarrassing himself and the state he governs in 2011 while running briefly for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. He didn’t make it to the first contest, the Iowa caucus, before dropping out. He had that infamous “oops” moment when he couldn’t identify all the federal agencies he’d cut if he were elected president.

He performed badly in other GOP joint appearances with the other candidates.

Perry called it off, came back to Texas and resumed his day job, which he’s held longer than anyone else in Texas history.

He’s sought to rehabilitate himself, his image, his message, his demeanor … the whole thing.

Many Texans still know him — fondly and not-so-fondly — as Gov. Goodhair, thanks to Miss Molly’s timeless description.

I’ll just add this little anecdote, which I heard countless times from quite a few Texas Panhandle Republicans as Goodhair ran for president two years ago.

A lot of ’em told me they wanted Perry elected president — just so they could get him out of Texas.

Rick Perry needs a makeover

Politico.com reports that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has embarked on an extreme makeover to make erase memories of a disastrous — and short-lived — run for the presidency last time around.

He’ll need it, badly.


Perry reportedly is more relaxed and confident sounding these days, Politico reports. That’s as it should be, given that he’s a lame-duck governor. He’s held the office seemingly since The Flood and is now heading for some other mission in life.

He wants to be president, or vice president perhaps.

My own feeling is that he’s got a long way to go before he achieves either office.

A friend of mine — a former Republican state legislator who is no friend or fan of Perry — thinks the governor actually wants a No. 2 spot on the next GOP presidential ticket. He believes Perry knows his brand as a Republican presidential nominee has been damaged beyond repair, so he’s willing to settle for running as the GOP veep nominee in 2016.

“Where I have noticed it profoundly is in the last few weeks, the national TV appearances, whether he’s been on a number of Fox shows or Jimmy Kimmel and some of the others, he just seems like a very confident, upbeat and articulate spokesman for conservative policy and values,” former Perry aide Ray Sullivan told Politico.

Perry’s brand is well-established in his home state of Texas, where his unique brand of good-ol’-boy conservatism plays well. It hasn’t yet taken hold in the rest of the country, let alone in the rest of the Republican Party, which is full of tea-party conservatives who so far have done a better job of selling themselves to a willing party base.

Let us not forget that those infamous pre-2012 GOP primary gaffes — namely the “oops” blunder in which he couldn’t name the third agency he would dismantle were he elected president — will be on the record … forever.

Good luck with your makeover, governor. You’ll need to be unrecognizable from what you’ve shown us so far.

Voters have decided: ‘Obamacare’ should stay

It occurs to me that congressional Republicans’ attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act flies directly against the prevailing political winds that blew fairly strongly nearly a year ago.

That was when President Barack Obama won re-election to a second term in the White House after fending off a relentless campaign against the ACA by the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney.

Thus, the ACA was on the ballot in 2012. It arguably was Romney’s signature issue in his campaign against the president.

How did it turn out?

* Barack Obama won re-election with 332 electoral votes; Romney captured 206.

* Obama’s popular vote totaled 65,915,257 votes; Romney garnered 60,932,235 votes. That’s a margin of nearly 5 million ballots.

* The president failed to carry only two states that he won in 2008, North Carolina and Indiana. The rest of them remained in his camp.

I’ll certainly concede that the president’s electoral vote margin and his popular vote margin both were less than when he was elected to his first term in 2008. For that I blame the economy, which was in free fall when Obama took office and didn’t turn around quickly enough to suit many Americans. It has turned, though, thanks in part to some aggressive efforts from the Obama economics team to jump-start it.

All of this occurred after Romney kept pledging to repeal the ACA on his first day in office. Didn’t the former Massachusetts governor say he’d issue an executive order suspending “Obamacare” right after he took office this past January? Didn’t he make that firm pledge repeatedly along the campaign trail?

Well, it didn’t work out for him.

Yes, some have said Romney wasn’t the best messenger to deliver that pledge for Republicans, given that he signed a similar law that guaranteed health insurance for residents of the state he governed.

The larger point, however, is that American voters had a chance to send the president packing this past November but chose to keep him on the job. His legislative accomplishment remains the Affordable Care Act and the voters, with their ballots, have affirmed a law that is just about to take effect.