James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Romney-Huckabee Ticket?

I don't follow Presidential debates closely because I can't stand hearing people pretend they know how to solve our problems and run our lives. So I don't know the specifics of Romney's positions and how they differ from, say, McCain's or Huckabee's. And I'm not endorsing Romney by any means. I'm a Ron Paul man, and I don't think any Republican, aside from Paul, will win, should win, or deserves to win in November. This is just speculation.

That said, I think the Republican's best shot at victory is a Romney-Huckabee ticket, and I do think reconciliation between the two after bitter campaigning is possible. The advantages of this ticket include:

a) Both men have executive experience as governors, and American voters tend to favor governors for the office these days over Senators. Clinton was a White House insider, but held no office in the Administration. Obama and Edwards also lack executive experience.
b) Neither have been part of the Administration that has misgoverned so badly the past seven years, so they can distance themselves from the incompetence.
c) Neither have been part of the Congress that has misgoverned so badly the past seven years; they don't have to justify a terrible voting record like McCain (or Clinton, on the other side) have to do, and McCain's too closely tied to Administration policies.
d) Geographic and religious balance; Huckabee's presence on the ticket may influence evangelical swing voters in the Midwest and South who might otherwise have grown too frustrated with the GOP. Huckabee is bonkers and is not electable at the head of the ticket, but is a tremendous asset in the second spot.
e) One man's flip-flopper is another man's pragmatist. Romney could stress managerial competence and promise a less ideological Administration. Bending and flip-flopping on issues can be a sign that he's unwilling to attempt the impossible for ideological reasons, and has a pulse on the will of the people. It worked for Bill Clinton.
f) Yes, Romney and Huckabee both spew the party line on Iraq, but it seems to me they are less in the thrall of the neocons as are, say, McCain and Giuliani - both of whom are more likely to start more wars. Indeed, Romney-Huckabee may even propose a more "humble foreign policy" (though they won't use that language) than either Clinton or Obama would.
g) They're white males, and voters would perceive they're less inclined to impose a "liberal agenda" regarding say, affirmative action, day care for working mothers, and stuff like that.
h) On the "Red State-Blue State" values, Giuliani's positions on guns, gays, and abortion would alienate the party base, and McCain still has to live down McCain-Feingold which still angers some movement leaders. While Romney isn't ideal for values voters, he would still be perceived as much better than the Democratic ticket on these issues.

In short, Romney-Huckabee would, to most Republicans, be most in tune with their views on defense, economics, and moral values - or at least much better than the Democrats - and at the same time they would be fresh faces with none of the baggage of the Bush Administration and GOP Congress. It would be the GOP's best shot.

That said, if evil conspirators do secretly control events, I could see Romney winning the nomination but being forced to put Jeb Bush - the brother who was actually groomed to be President - on the ticket. The Bush name will work against them and the ticket will lose, but if Jeb campaigns well, he could be handed the Presidency in 2016, when Hillary's second term expires.

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