If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lose in the fall, I think they can safely point to the moment in time Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo. decided to not drop out of the U.S. Senate race against incumbent Claire McCaskill. His decision to stay in the race is amounting to dropping an anchor on a ship that’s trying its best to go full steam ahead. He’s yet another weight that’s pulling down the GOP as a whole.
For me, Mitt Romney is very much like John McCain. I think he’s really a decent guy and his stances on social issues really isn’t all that bad to me. Whatever policies he’d try to enact probably wouldn’t affect my personal life goals and day-to-day life. Obama on the other hand does enact policies that do impact my overall life, one of which has been on the issue of credit companies and their disclosure of their policies, student loan reforms along with the continuation of Pell grants and the big one concerning health care.
However, the likes of Todd Akin are what’s holding Mitt Romney below Obama in most national polls. Mitt Romney is being dragged down by the fools that are associated with his party, what’s resulting is that Mitt Romney is guilty by association. At this point right now, Todd Akin’s damage has been done. The mea culpa that he went on TV to apologize and say “that’s not what he meant” is too little, too late. It reinvigorated the gender clashes that had somewhat died down and even worse, it was the perfect pre-cursor to the GOP ratifying their rather conservative views on abortion in the upcoming Republican National Convention.
Also, such negative press is beginning to highlight some of the outright lies that are coming from the Romney camp. After the mainstream media decided to run with the story that the campaigns had taken a negative turn, we’ve started to see the fact checking media come to the fore. The latest rounds of Romney ads are pushing the idea that Obama is trying to gut welfare reform which every outlet is saying is an outright lie; while Obama is scoring better with just half-truths—it depends from which viewpoint you interpret his facts. That being said, I’ve heard three different media outlets discuss the “pants on fire” lies that Romney has used in his ad attacks against Obama. You do the math.
And let’s just be honest, the threat of a hurricane headed toward Florida, and even with the possibility of hitting Tampa isn’t boding well either. If the GOP have to cancel or at least postpone their whole convention, they won’t ever see the bump in polls that a party would normally see following a convention. Personally, I think this is going to be an even closer national election than 2008 and an election that might be decided by the debates in October.
Some pundits have accused Romney of race baiting by taking such an egregiously false stance on Obama and welfare reform. For many, we see welfare recipients in terms of race. The narrative in this country paints welfare recipients as blacks, who live in the inner city, who are single parents and are on food stamps—the epitome of the “welfare queen” imaged by Ronald Reagan and Mary Jones from the movie “Precious.” I really think Romney is too aloof to play the race card in such a way and his campaign staff doesn’t seem all that engaged enough to do so either. However, it’s happening nonetheless. It’s a dog whistle to these super-PACs and the ultra conservatives that can rally the troops in his favor.
I think if Mitt Romney is forced to really take a stand on these issues, he’s either going to come off as a rich guy out of touch with reality or he’s going to come off soft on the conservative issues. Anything other than the economy tanking suddenly under Obama’s tenure even more, this is still Romney’s race to have to win. At the end of the day, Obama comes off as the candidate who identifies more with the middle class and with the every-day citizen.
And if the hurricane somehow does force the GOP to postpone or God-forbid cancel their convention, it would be the worse kind of news coverage you could get at a time like this.
As if Mother Nature herself doesn’t even condone what they’re doing.