As careful readers of this blog know, I had wanted former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to enter the 2012 contest for the White House. Perhaps the Democrats would have run against him as the scion of the Bush dynasty.
He had been, however, a successful reform-minded governor of a major state, has withstood a fierce partisan challenge in 2002 and successfully reached out to Hispanic voters. Perhaps, Jeb had (at least politically) a lousy last name, but I feared, as Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel put it, in their election post-mortem, that Mitt Romney’s
. . . biography hurt him. During a cycle when voters remained angry at Wall Street, Romney bore the weight of a finance background. And because of his own history in Massachusetts, he could never effectively go after President Obama on Obamacare, the president’s biggest political weakness.
None of this was ever a secret, but the Republicans nominated Romney anyway. They had no choice. The alternatives were unacceptable.
Exactly. The remaining alternatives all carried more baggage that Mitt did. Democrats were able to define him as a out-of-touch plutocrat rather than a real reformer. (And I do wonder if some Republicans stayed home because they didn’t think the man who signed Romneycare into law was committed to repealing Obamacare.)
Anyway, Carlson and Patel wrote a great piece–one that I highly recommend. They help define what kind of candidates Republicans need to nominate if they are to win elections.
We need, as they put it, “genuine conservatives . . . with political skills, policy smarts and impressive resumes in order to get elected.” Fortunately, it seems, the two freshman Republican Senators are cut from that cloth.
May we see more of their like in 2014.