Primary News Number 3: Rick Santorum leaves the Saucer

Well, now that Rick Santorum has “suspended” his campaign, even the we-are-so-much-smarter-than-you media has flashed on the fact that the Republican nomination belongs to Mitt Romney … some aren’t ready to go as far out on that limb, stating (if parenthetically) that Gingrich and Paul are still in the race. No they’re not – they’re using up oxygen in the race, but you have to ping their cell phones to find them.

The reason Santorum is leaving the competition, let me say, is intensely personal – his daughter Bella has a rare life-threatening genetic disorder, Trisomy 18, and was hospitalized again over the weekend. The situation is tragic, and I make no disparaging allegations in this regard. I wish the best for Rick, Karen, Bella, and the Santorum family in this time of deep concern. As an aside, but a telling one, let it be known that Mitt Romney suspended all of his advertising in Pennsylvania as soon as he heard that Bella was taken to the hospital. Classy.

But now that the press has figured out that Romney is going to be the opposition, they can get on with the business of selling Obama to us.

33 thoughts on “Primary News Number 3: Rick Santorum leaves the Saucer

  1. Yes. Good thoughts toward the Santorum family.

    Most of the media do not want Romney in there. They know Romney appeals to a large number of people in the middle. They also know that unless there is a some kind of scandal of biblical proportions, Mitt Romney will be a slam dunk in November.

    I’m hoping the incumbent gets fired in such a big way that it makes Carter’s loss to Regan look close.

  2. Actually, any win over the incumbent will satisfy me – the depth of the defeat doesn’t seem to dissuade liberals from trying again (we got Obama after Carter didn’t we?).

  3. Santorum should be commended for practicing what he preaches, “Family comes first”. And it won’t hurt his future political ambitions either.

  4. The latest speculations from the “nattering nabobs” is what’s next for Santorum? I’m mildly interested in this topic of conversation. Mainly because I’m really interested in the subject of who Romney will pick for his running mate. I think it’s really unlikely that he would pick Santorum even though that move would certainly be helpful to pull in the Tea Party conservatives and the religious right. I’m thinking that Romney will go for someone more middle of the road like Portman or Pawlenty. Now there is talk [gossip] about Santorum perhaps being offered a cabinet post. I wonder if this is true which post he would be considered for? Care to discuss?

  5. I still think someone like Rubio will be his first choice – the Tea Party doesn’t need anything to vote Republican, but Hispanics do … and it would take Florida from Obama. There are four key swing states, that if Obama wins them all (in addition to their usual states) the Republicans can’t win the election: Florida, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia. A VP candidate from any of these states will effectively remove that state from Obama’s column.

  6. I tend to agree with you on the Rubio choice. He will help with the Latino vote more than anyone else. Besides, of the four states you mentioned doesn’t Fla. have the most electoral votes? I think so.

  7. Yes it does, but it’s the combination of the four that would prove fatal to Republicans. Winning one or two of them doesn’t guarantee a Republican win, but takes the guarantee away from Obama. I’ve heard forecasts of large victories for both sides, but I’m still looking for a close election. And my prediction from months ago that this would be one of the dirtiest campaigns in memory still holds.

  8. The forecast of “large victories” from both sides I immediately discount. That’s just a form of cheerleading. “Vote for our guy! His victory is inevitable….” Yaddah yaddah yaddah…

    Going back to your comment about there being four key states, I’m wondering why you consider South Carolina among these? It seems to me that Fla., Ohio, and Virginia might / could go either way, but I can’t see South Carolina as being anything but solidly Red State Republican. Of course Obama and the Dems. would dearly love to win it, but I’ve already awarded that state to the Reps. Are you basing your conjecture of the results of ’08? Did Obama win S.C. last time around?

    And Oh My Yes! This will be the nastiest campaign in living memory, for sure. But then from my perspective each successive campaign has grown uglier and uglier as the years pass. The country is as divided and partisan as it has ever been and that fact leads to this sad state of affairs. IMO.

  9. I agree that the projections of a “sweeping” victory by either side is largely hype, but they are out there, and probably will be picked up by the Kool Aid media at some point.

    South Carolina is one my key states because if it goes in combination with Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Obama would be unstoppable, in my opinion (and it’s a state for which we will get returns early). I could replace it with Pennsylvania, another large swing state. McCain won South Carolina by 10 in 2008, but I don’t see it as slam dunk for anyone this year.

    Yeah, it has already started with President Obama’s this-isn’t-class-warfare-but-the-rich-are-cheating-you Buffett Rule farce. If you do everything legally and still “aren’t paying your fair share,” the problem isn’t with the rich, it’s with the tax code. Don’t punish success, fix the tax code!

  10. You are a much better bean counter than I, for sure. But if Obama should win Florida, Ohio and Virginia I’d say he would be unstoppable regardless of what S.C. does. Pennsylvania is a better example I’d say. It has more electoral votes than S.C. and the returns will come in at the same time as S.Carolina’s. On the other hand if Pa. is a toss-up and close we might not get the results until very late at night. Right now Pa. is looking like it’s leaning toward Romney. As is Ohio. And no one knows what Florida will do…”You guys” are just crazy! Ha haha!

  11. South Carolina’s more of a bellwether than a source of electoral votes – if Obama can make a 10-point turn-a-round there, the rest of the map may be more blue than expected. From a vote-count standpoint, Pennsylvania is more important – and a key state, for sure. Florida will be vastly important, which is why Rubio would be such a natural choice for VP (even he turns it down – it will have an impact).

    And yes, Floridians haven’t yet lived-down the 2000 fiasco. Leland has a paperweight of Lucite that encloses suspended “Genuine Florida Chads.”

  12. I see what you mean about South Carolina. If Obama should win it (which I highly doubt) it could be a predictor of an eventual victory for him even if not a landslide.

    And Rubio would be the best choice for Romney as the VEEP for sure. We agree on that. But I think there is something behind the scenes going on here with the GOP. It’s as if the strategists are trying to prepare everyone for a “not Rubio” scenerio. They are suggesting many others as “a better option”. Can’t figure that out. Unless they think that Rubio is (1) too conservative a Tea Partier to appeal to moderate and Independent voters in the general; or (2) so lusterous he might overshadow Romney and make Romney look inconsequential and “Rubio’s running mate” instead of the other way around. Go figure.

    P.S. I LOVE Leland’s paperweight! Too funny!

  13. I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes, but I do know that Rubio has said he’s not interested in VP. He may well be situating himself for 2016 – either as Romney’s running mate for a second term, or as presidential candidate if Obama wins in 2012. But the VP choice will be Romney’s to make – not some group of strategists, who ever they are.

  14. I think Rubio’s declaration that he wasn’t interest in the VEEP position has modified somewhat. After he (somewhat reluctantly I’d say) endorsed Romney’s candidacy a week or so ago, he was asked directly if he would now consider the VP position if Romney asked him. He said he might but he hadn’t been asked. Did you see the interview when he made his endorsement?

    If Obama should win I’m sure Rubio will be numero uno in the minds of the GOP as the prize candidate to run against whoever the Dems. put up. If Romney wins I would think it would be highly unlikely that he would replace whoever his VP is with Rubio as a new selection. I can’t recall either party doing that. Switch VEEPS in between terms. Do you?

  15. FDR comes to mind – he had three[1] – Rubio said what politicians say to such questions: “if asked, of course I would consider it, but I haven’t been asked.”

    [1]Franklin Roosevelt’s first Vice President was John Nance Garner of Texas. During his third term he chose Henry Agard Wallace from Iowa to be his VP. President Roosevelt switched VP again for his fourth term when he chose Harry S Truman from Missouri, who then became President upon Franklin Roosevelt’s death in April 1945.

  16. I didn’t know about FDR’s switching VEEPS. So it’s not unheard of. And you are probably right about Rubio in that he really isn’t seriously considering accepting the position even if he is asked. Right now my money is on either the Va. Governor or Portman from Ohio. Those two seem ready, willing and eager to be asked. I read that Ryan probably won’t be asked as he’s needed by “the Romney Administration” to stay right where he is in order to shepherd the Budget through the new (Republican) Congress. The same article said that Suzanne Martinez has more or less let it be known that she’s not really interested either. I think Mitt himself said he will let his choice be known sometime in June after the primaries are over. Can’t wait to see who he picks.

  17. One thing the Republicans don’t need to do is make a social statement with the pick – no women, for example – both the Party and the country are tired of this kind of thing after Palin and Obama. Controversial is polarizing, and polarizing is one of the effects of this administration that needs to be corrected by the next.

  18. I don’t understand your comment about Palin and Obama being polarizing. Oh well.

    Anyway the latest VP candidate being projected for the coveted position is Chris Christie. He should fit the bill. He’s male, white, conservative but not Hispanic, and a real shining star on the rise in the Republican party. Every Republican loves him. AND he’s indicated that he’d be willing to serve. Great choice for Romney, IMO. He could be Romney’s attack dog as Biden is Obama’s.

  19. You don’t think Sarah Palin and Barack Obama have been polarizing!? The “first Republican woman” and “first Black” to run for High Office have both proven to be divisive, rather than inclusive, in their effect on the electorate. I don’t think the Republicans will try that again this year.

    Yes, I’m hearing more and more about Governor Christie being a favorite of GOP’ers for VP. That would work for me. One of the traditional jobs of VP is to be the president’s “attack dog,” so whoever gets the job will fill that role.

  20. Oh, now I see what you mean about polarization. Sarah Palin because of her gender and Barack Obama because of his race were certainly “not your ordinary run of the mill” choices. And Republicans do tend to stick to what has worked in the past: That being male white candidates. This cycle they might make an exception to include a male Latino also. At least a Latino isn’t black. Different animal altogether, right? Ha ha!

    Of the possible VP choices that Romney has at his disposal, Chris Christie is the best “attack dog” available. If he’s smart, that’s who he will choose. And Christie will also get the Republican establishment’s (Karl Rove’s) seal of approval. All the Republicans love him. And it would also help to make Romney more palatable to those Right Wing Tea Party types who are still leary of Romney’s conservative creds. The best choice, IMO.

  21. As far polarization, sadly, yes, a different animal. I keep saying that Romney doesn’t have to worry about the Tea Party vote – where else are they going to go? They are motivated by wanting to get rid of Obama. They’re not going to be a problem come election day. It’s the Independents both guys want to get … they’ll decide this election. Having said that, I think Christie will be a good choice because he’s charismatic and funny (unlike our current VP, Christie does it on purpose). He likes America and its strengths, and he knows how to govern. Three things missing currently.

  22. “…he’s charismatic and funny (unlike our current VP, Christie does it on purpose). He likes America and its strengths, and he knows how to govern. Three things missing currently.”

    Another example of your insistence that what you write when you are discussing politics it is “A-Political”?

  23. No. Discussing political events – such as the selection of a VP – is a political discussion. Talking about whether or not stimulus spending helped or hurt the recover concerns economics and the ability to see conditions around you. You really are a Black-and-White person, aren’t you – either one is all politics all the time, or one must be all apolitical all the time. Whew!

  24. When you start hurling the “You really are a black and white person aren’t you?” accusation at me, I know it’s time to quit. It is just as effective as saying, “Why don’t you just shut up!” So I will…I’m outta here.

    Disagreeing with you on any subject is not only disagreeable but futile. Have a nice day.

  25. I’m sorry that my comment offended you. It’s frustrating when you just ignore what I say in order to make a further comment on the same subject [e.g., if I’m against something you favor, I must be irrevocably partisan, not that I may just disagree on practical grounds]. You may be right that this particular discussion is exausted, but won’t give up in trying to get you to discuss things in real-world terms rather than “my party versus your party” terms. The issues facing our country are too important to be left to the partisans.

  26. Fine. From now on I will strive once again to tone down my rhetoric so as not to frustrate you when I respond with a comment. Perhaps I’ll just copy quotes from people who agree with me politically rather than try to make an argument off the cuff myself. That might lend some gravitas to my responses to what you write from your perspective. I’ll try that.

  27. What I’d really like is to be able to discuss issues rather than party lines. I am truly interested in why you think what you think … what your political philosophy is based upon. But, I’ve largely given up on that, so I’ll be happy to discuss the politics of everything, and will try to address your comments if you’ll take mine as sincerely stated and not just Republican talking points (to which I pay absolutely no attention).

  28. You have said again and again that you are truly interested in why I think what I think. I don’t know how to explain why I think the way I do except to reiterate that I am a person who has spent much of my life evaluating issues and philosophies and I have found what I think are answers to these questions that seem to me to be the right ones. And as I have said before I have changed my stance on positions over the years from a philosophy and belief similar to yours to one that I would say it opposite from that. Probably because of observations I have made and life experiences that I have had. If I were to give my beliefs a name or a classification, I would call myself a liberal / progressive and a secular humanist. This description most closely matches what I believe is the “right” way to approach life and the human condition. And so my friend, you can see that in our philosophies and our beliefs we are indeed polar opposites. And that’s why we end up so frustrated with each other’s opinions and stances on issues.

  29. OK, I can buy that … my question is why, when something isn’t working, you still defend it as though it is. I will use only the stimulus spending as an example. It has never worked, and it has never worked because politicians can’t bring themselves to apply Keynes theories without injecting political payoff into it. That has nothing to do with left/right, Democrat/Republican … just human nature. Keynes, like all utopian philosophies ultimately fail because they discount human nature. It worked during World War II because the spending went to actual, rather than invented, need – our factories were geared up to defend the nation against a palatable threat, and once the war was won, the increased economic activity helped pay off the spending. In other words, it is the only time in history when Keynes’ advice was actually followed – target the spending to actual economic needs, and, when the recession/depression is over, pay back the deficit spending. Again, not left/right, just pragmatic. I am beginning to ramble, so I’ll stop. The point is, I would much rather discuss issues on their merits, not who backs whose “side” on the matter.

  30. Not having studied economic philosophies I can’t argue the merits [or lack thereof] of Keyensian economics.

    As to the stimulus package not working, I’d say that that is a questionable assertion. Many economists [aka] Krugman, Rattner, and Rana Foroohar maintain that the stimulus package worked, but only partially. It didn’t bring the recession to and end as soon as was predicted and hoped for, because it wasn’t sufficiently funded. They say another monetary injection was needed. I believe they are all proponents of Keynesian economics, though. So I suppose you can say I’m introducing politics into this…

  31. I would contend that it’s a risky proposition to steadfastly support theories you don’t understand … that’s putting politics above pragmatism – “I’m for such-and-such because my party says I am.” The recession ended right on schedule, it’s the recovery that has been hobbled by the stimulus – and constant threats of tax increases, and threats of evermore regulation, and a healthcare maze that no one understands, etc.

    I don’t consider quoting Keynesian economists introduces politics into the discussion, but not understanding what they are saying (“it should have been bigger,” but why? How would that “work”?) does. That’s my only point here. Relying on something that has never worked in the hands of politicians is questionable at best.

  32. “The recession ended right on schedule, it’s the recovery that has been hobbled by the stimulus…”

    I would say this would fly if it weren’t for the fact that the recession is and has been a Global one. And the recovery has been slow worldwide. Just a thought.

  33. The American recession is independent from, say Europe’s, as far as the American recovery is concerned. It is quite possible to have a domestic recovery in spite of depressed export to Europe. The American markets are still dysfunctional.

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