GOP Primaries: Romney Needs A Knockout!
The Republican presidential nomination has seemed more like Big-Time wrestling than a boxing match, and, even then, more like an undercard scrap filled with amateurish drama where the gaffes and foibles substitute for skill and execution. It started out as an eight combatant cage match. The contenders entered the arena with all the pomp and circumstance of a title bout. It didn’t take long for the commentators to have to start shouldering the burden of trying to convince the crowd that, despite all evidence to the contrary, there was indeed a fight worth the price of admission.
One by one they fell. Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Huntsman, all victims of either their own inability to fight or their penchant for punching themselves in the face. The field narrowed, but not because of any overwhelming skill. Survival of the fittest was replaced by survival of the least unfit. It’s never really mattered though, they all knew it was just a show and that they were only fighting for a chance to lose to the champ.
Any serious contenders are either non-existent or smart enough to wait until the champ’s career has run its course. Jim DeMint is quietly building his evangelical base for 2016. As a social conservative that makes Santorum look like a bohemian hipster, he’s also a strategist that knows better than to walk into haymaker with his hands down. Marco Rubio, the upstart from Florida, is protecting a strong early career. While sharing a ticket as VP allows him to let the loss go to another’s stats, leading the fight, he knows, is still out of his league.
Gingrich and Paul have found safety against the ropes. Perhaps too proud (or too deluded) to throw in the towel, they add a mixture of comic relief and distraction from a two-man bout that might otherwise find both combatants drawing boos from their own supporters. Boredom and frustration rule the day. There is no real fight, just a contest to see who gets to be the loser in the fall. Like a Vegas clash of paper tigers, it’s all media hype.
Romney needs to end this soon so that he can get about retraining for his title fight and become the new fighter that he needs to be just to step in that ring against the champ. Santorum has been holding on tighter than an Irish Setter on top of a station wagon, pulling the debate to the right. Romney needs to leave this fight behind, shake his etch-a-sketch, and refashion himself as a moderate conservative southpaw, swinging from the left.
With Tuesday primaries in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the very important Wisconsin, Romney needs to find a way to connect with Santorum’s jaw and put him down for the count. Anything less than a clear win may prolong Romney’s flat-footed pugilism with sweater-vested ambassador of religious intolerance and leave less time to completely change his tact and avoid utter embarrassment for himself and his Party in November. The expected loss is one thing. Being on the wrong side of a landslide could have the entire Republican Party facing a future as bleak as Rush Limbaugh’s career.
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On February 21, 2012, Gilbert Mercier, News Junkie Post Editor in Chief, suffered an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.. a myocardial infarction… a massive heart attack. Gilbert was given only a 10% chance of surviving the surgery that required he be put in a comatose state in order to both repair the damage and perform a bypass. Fortunately, due to his physical strength, as well as the indefatigable spirit and tenacious character that he brings to every challenge he faces, Gilbert has survived both that initial surgery and a subsequent surgery in early March.
Gilbert’s recovery and rehabilitation will be a long process. He is surrounded by loving family and friends but his intense medical needs and the astronomical costs for them will continue for quite some time. The all-too-familiar story of how the American health care system can eviscerate a person’s personal financial security, regardless of insurance, is playing itself out with a cherished member of our family.
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