A strategy for Mittens

Far be it from me to be on here suggesting how Mitt Romney can win over Obama, but I’m more interested in seeing a good election where people can make a good decision rather than watching a Republican crash in a fiery explosion while Obama skates in with no effort.

Plus, let’s be totally honest. Ron Paul could do very well in a national election, but a big chunk of his support is from the middle and left. Give it a closed primary and not a lot of the GOP is going to rally behind the guy saying we should have pulled out of Iraq before we went in and that drug laws are unconstitutional. He’s one of the few guys who could run 3rd party and not sabotage the election for either of the others thanks to his ability to appeal to all sides, but again he’s just not gonna make it onto the GOP ticket.

That said, if there’s one thing Mittens needs to do, it’s this: study John McCain’s 2008 campaign.

The 2008 annihilation of John McCain in the electoral college (to say nothing of his 10mil popular vote lead) is a classic example of a candidate who panders and shifts rather than sticking to a single vision. Say what you will of Barack Obama, he’s always been one candidate: a left/centrist Democrat with lofty aspirations but a desire to compromise and make everyone work together. It goes back to his famous 2004 keynote address and remains today.

McCain, on the other hand, was a man who made a name for himself as being the “renegade”, and damned if he didn’t earn it. He was a guy who didn’t care who he pissed off on either side, and became one of those guys that even Al Franken would praise in his books prior to going into the Senate himself. But after losing to Dubya in 2000, he slowly changed. By 2007, he was trying his hardest to appeal to the Republican base that had eluded him so long, and sold his soul to do so. He turned his back on any semblance of integrity and “renegadery”, leaving us with a shell that sought to please the tea party loony bin wing of the GOP.

This is how we got Sarah Palin. Caribou Barbie would never have been McCain’s running mate in ages past. But so desperate was he to appeal to the base that he picked a teabag (though we didn’t really have the term then) darling, who had such rabid support in the wingnut conservative base that translated to absolute embarrassment in the eyes of the general public. John McCain could have beaten Barack Obama had he been the John McCain we knew and loved in days of yore, but he wasn’t. He tried so hard to appeal to the Republican base camp that he estranged everyone else.

Such is the case with Mittens. He could appeal to independents, and maybe even a few Democrats. The guy’s a Republican from Massachusetts, that’s like being a Democrat in deep Texas. He could hit the general campaign trail and play up his middle of the road credentials. Take a look at his history, there’s a clear change in recent years. He was pro-choice and against DADT years ago, but has become more conservative as time progressed. Now I’m not saying I’d ever support the guy, he’s massively to the right in the majority of areas, but the point is he could ostensibly play the centrist role and paint Obama as the liberal if he so chose, and possibly turn the election into a genuine battle of policy.

I don’t see that happening, of course. Undoubtedly we’ll end up with an anti-gay, anti-woman, pro-war, Bible-thumping, tax-hating, liberal-bashing Republican again that Obama will sweep over by appealing to the country’s sense of reason and togetherness, but wouldn’t it be nice if it didn’t go down that way?

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