Huffpost Canada ca
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Peter Worthington Headshot

So What if Romney Drives Two Cadillacs?

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Regular readers of this space will note (perhaps with relief) that of late I've not dwelled on the Republican primaries in the U.S.

That's because there's not an awful lot one can say.

Apart from journalistic and punditry speculation, the race to be the GOP presidential candidate is effectively over, with no one likely to oust Mitt Romney for the job.

Apart from Romney winning the recent primaries (Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington D.C.), what was significant is that most Republicans and independents agree that the only one who has even a chance at beating Barack Obama in an election is Romney.

As well as exit polls showing 80 per cent of those questioned believe this, perhaps the most telling evidence is that in "open" primaries (that is, primaries not restricted to registered Republicans but open to independents and Democrats), "Liberals," or Democrats, have overwhelmingly voted for Rick Santorum as GOP candidate.

The reason: Obama would chew Santorum to pieces in a presidential campaign, focusing on his religious zeal, his intense conservatism, his dislike of compromise and his pious, self-righteous demeanor. Scary to some.

The above may also have contributed to him losing his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2006 by the largest margin by which an incumbent senator has ever been defeated.

Small wonder Democrats would like to face him, now that Newt Gingrich has been reduced to asterisk status in the campaign.

What seems to have happened in recent weeks is a realization across America that if one doesn't like what Obama is thrusting on the nation, the only alternative is Romney.

This stuff that Romney doesn't "relate" to ordinary people is a smokescreen. What presidential candidate is mindful of ordinary folk? They're all millionaires. But some smile more convincingly than others.

Jack Kennedy was rich, but down-to-earth and his wealth wasn't resented. So Romney has two Cadillacs (American built). So what?

For some, who have difficulty seeing a reason to re-elect Obama, Romney's appealing virtue is that he's not a Washington insider -- not part of the Beltway cabal who exist on taxpayers' money.

He's an outsider, who made his money in the private sector, who has proved competence in saving companies, who rescued the Salt Lake City Olympics, who has created jobs, and has no apparent baggage in his personal life.

Amazingly (to some, if not to me), he's a Mormon whose appeal reaches religious fundamentalists and will reign in Tea Partiers. Maybe.

Back to Obama. The concern about him and his administration is that it hasn't accomplished much. Much? Heck, it hasn't achieved anything except a massive debt for the decades, and a health scheme that no one seems to like or can afford, and which the Supreme Court is wrestling with at the moment.

Obamacare barely passed the Democrat-loaded House of Representatives by seven votes. As much as we Canadians might think it makes sense, Americans think otherwise. An insurmountable debt and a health plan that most don't want, are Obama's most memorable achievements.

They are tailor-made for Romney to campaign against.

Anyway, it's all academic now. Even if Santorum should win in Pennsylvania's primary (he won't -- he'll be clobbered in his home state) and in Texas, he's done like toast.