This is cross-posted at the Council of Fifty.
I don't like Romney's politics. I've said this before. I also think he has come across as insincere and seems to be more a conservative of convenience than of conviction. I also can't get his support for President Bush's foreign policies.
But I want Romney to win. As I've said before, I think it would be good for the Republican party. So what do I, a Democrat, care about having a good Republican party? Well, if my party screws it up, there's only one other alternative. Sure there's a lot of dissatisfaction right now with the current Administration, but Congressional Democrats aren't that far behind he President as targets of public bile. In this atmosphere, neither party is all that likely to win an overwhelming Congressional majority. And the fact is, no matter which party wins the White House in 2008, the other one will still have a significant amount of power. So even if there's a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans will still have plenty of influence. I want them to be shepherded by a party leadership that is moderate, pragmatic, reasonable.
An additional reason: it would make Clinton less likely to win the Democratic nomination. If, say, Huckabee gets it, he would stand no chance against Clinton, and the liberal party elite would have an easier time getting Clinton the victory because the concern about drawing moderate votes would be essentially irrelevant. If, on the other hand, the Republicans put up someone with a real fighting chance to beat Clinton, the Democrats would be more likely to give their nomination to a candidate less polarizing than the ex-First Lady, someone who could draw more moderate voters.
Romney is more Presidential, arguably more moderate, and most importantly, better funded than any of the other Republican candidates. He stands the best chance against Clinton. If he wins, the Democrats will be forced to think more carefully about nominating Clinton. A strong, moderate, electable Republican candidate gives more leverage to the Edwards and Obama campaigns to argue that Clinton, a elite northeastern liberal connected to perhaps the most hated Democrat (at least among conservatives) in recent memory, can't win in the heartland.
And on a personal level, it comes down to this: I don't want to vote for Clinton. And at this point, Romney is the most appealing Republican.
So what's my beef with Hillary? Well, for one, it goes back to before my mission when she first started trying to be a Senator from my home state (actually, I voted against her by absentee ballot). I had no problem in theory with the idea of Clinton running for, or even being my Senator. She's certainly capable. But the fact that she wasn't from New York and hadn't lived there, that she bought a house to barely met the residency requirements, and that it was obvious that she had chosen New York only because it was a liberal enough state to elect her to a calculated Presidential launching pad---well, that bothered me.
And to make matters worse, the state Party leadership didn't even make her run the primary. They just handed her the nomination. That bothered me even more. Now, the interesting thing about Hillary Clinton is that most of the other members of the New York Delegation in Congress can't stand her, personally. These are the people that have worked with her, not those that are paid to stump for her. But they won't say that in public because of the huge amount of influence that the Clintons hold over the party machine. I trust their opinions, and I don't trust her.
Another problem with Clinton: We've already had eight years of the second half of a Republican political dynasty. Do we really want the same thing coming from the Democrats? Do we really want the last few decades of our history to go Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton? Are there really so few qualified people that we have to keep picking from the same two families?
Of course, it would be cool to say that we had finally elected a woman to be President. But do we really want to show the world that the only way a woman can be elected in this country is if she schemes for three decades, finagles her party leadership, and rides on her husband's popularity? Wouldn't we rather have a woman who gets elected on her own merits?
So I want the Republicans to choose someone that will give the Obama and Edwards campaigns a better chance against Clinton. Nobody but Romney can do it: McCain is too old and crazy, Huckabee is too trailer park and Ted Nugent, Fred "Cadaver" Thompson (AKA dead man walking) can barely keep his eyes open during interveiws, Guiliani ought to be disqualified for running a campaign based entirely on 9-11, and Ron Paul, well, come on, it's Ron Paul. If he wins, the Democrats might as well run Kucinich so we can distribute the crazy equally on both sides. It's got to be Romney.
On the other hand, if Clinton does win, that would make Bill the first First Gentleman, which might get him into the news more often and provide some excellent political comic relief.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
This is cross-posted at the Council of Fifty.