Monday, January 16, 2012

And Another One Bites the Dust: Analysis of the Post-Huntsman Field

Well, it took a bit longer than I thought it would, but Jon Huntsman, via various sources including The Other McCain, Twitter, and various others, has dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. This leaves us with only a few contenders even as primary season just begins. As I write this, only New Hampshire and Iowa have decided who they want to get the nod from the RNC. Their choice has been revealed in a very close race in Iowa and in a landslide in New Hampshire to be Mitt "mittens" Romney, famed flip flopper and architect of the infamous Romneycare, which has in turn been used to construct the framework for the most hated piece of legislation since the Alien and Sedition Acts, Obamacare. Trailing behind Romney in these states is Gingrich (my personal choice, with the deaths of the Cain and Bachmann campaigns) Perry, and Santorum. My belle Michelle is still in the race, but she has now taken the place of John Huntsman as most impotent candidate, and poses no threat at all, in this humble blogger's view, of taking the nomination from Romney, Santorum or Gingrich.

Gingrich, by his own admission, believes himself capable of winning South Carolina, but of course what else can he say given that he's lost two of the most influential states in the union to a dark horse and an establishment candidate? Newt's optimism may in fact be genuine and not political posturing as some may or may not think, but after several gaffs of his, some of which occurred well before the campaign for president began in earnest, if Newt does in fact lose SC, he's going to have to seriously reconsider whether or not he's going to acquire that coveted prize that is the Republican nomination. If he doesn't get it, as even I'm beginning to believe he might not, then the question becomes who will Gingrich endorse? Will it hurt or help said candidate should Gingrich drop out? In my view, he'd only have two choices, as Perry's campaign continues to remain on life support, just ahead of Bachmann's in the viability category.

First choice, and my hopeful choice should he endorse rather than win: Santorum. Rick Santorum has gained a good deal of momentum, just as the other "not Romney" candidates have each in turn gained momentum throughout the tumultuous race for the chance to beat Obama. Santorum also appears to have gained a good deal of support in Texas. More support, it appears, than Perry even has, and it's Perry's home state. I seem to recall another presidential candidate, John Edwards, who couldn't carry his own home state during the 2008 Democratic primaries. Could Perry be the GOP's John Edwards? It's looking that way to me.

Second choice, and really the only other viable choice is in fact Romney. Should Newt endorse Romney, it is my prediction that the nomination will go to the former Bay State governor, lock stock and barrel. Newt will also cement his undeserved reputation as a RINO in the eyes of many. My fears of this occurrence also include the possibility that many Republican voters will stay home and not vote at all because "their guy" didn't make the cut. However absurd that is, it's what happened with Chuck DeVore during the California Senatorial Primary race. That's why we got Barbara "Senator Ma'am" Boxer for another six years instead of Carly Fiorina.

In conclusion, it's looking more and more plausible by the day that Romney will win the nomination. The odds are certainly in his favor, so far as I can tell. Yet at the same time, I'm not going to shift my support from Gingrich just yet. After all, nobody in the establishment thought Reagan could win, or for that matter even Rutherford B. Hayes all those decades ago was thought to be a loser candidate, yet both of them still won the day. In short, don't count out the Newt. He might just surprise us all.