Monday, February 13, 2012

Reactions to the Maine Caucuses

Saturday night, a week worth of caucuses in Maine concluded with Mitt Romney winning.   Maine’s Caucuses, like so many other caucus states, does not directly elect delegates to the Republican Convention this August, but rather elects delegates to municipal conventions who will then elect delegates who will do their best to see if they can locate Waldo.
In all seriousness, chances are that Mittens will get his share of the delegates, as will Ron Paul, who came in second, as well as Rick Santorum who came in third and Newt Gingrich who came in fourth.  Considering only Paul and Romney campaigned, this is about what should have been expected.  Maine was a state that Mitt had to have.  If Mittens can’t win New England, and I mean all of New England, in this primary season, he’s got issues.  Heck, prior to 1820, Mitt would’ve been the former Governor of the people of Maine*.   Yet Governor Romney got less than 40% of the vote.  His weakness is showing.
Caucus states remain Ron Paul’s strong suit.  His type of grassroots organization works wonderfully in caucuses.  Congressman Paul’s continuing to tally up the delegates and, I hope, is going to get his small government economic policy onto the GOP platform, regardless of who is the nominee. 
Newt’s my guy, but these last few primaries have been frustrating to me.  I think the lack of debates is hurting Newt.  He needs that platform.  That’s where Newt plays the best.  I’m glad that there are two debates coming up before the next few primaries.  There’s one a few days before Arizona and Michigan, and another right before Super Tuesday in early March, so Newt’s got the chance to get back on track.
Then there’s Rick Santorum.  Senator Santorum is showing the critics wrong, myself included, again.  He won all three contests last Tuesday.  He came in third in Maine, but that’s because he didn’t really spend time in Maine.  I’m here to tell you why he’s gaining is the same reason Newt gained a little bit ago…he’s effectively communicating conservatism.  If I can’t have my preferred choice for nominee, I’d be very happy to throw my support behind Santorum as a second choice.  To me it’s like finding out that there’s no lasagna left for dinner, and that I’ll have to settle for steak.
There’s a whole lot left to be decided.  These contests are going so many ways that it’s going to be a long time before we have a nominee.  We might even end up with a brokered convention.  (And if we do, so help the GOP if they throw up another establishment candidate.)  At the end of the day, however, what needs to be remembered above all else, is that any one of these four men would be 100x better than the President we have now. 

*Google that so you can find out how clever I am.

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