Wow, that was a decisive victory last night in South Carolina. Hunh. I guess Newt’s populism can really gain traction with some people. I was guessing he’d be a close second but he’s a clear winner instead. I’ve been hoping Newt would keep nipping at Romney’s heels through the next couple of months and then just go away. Since I think the country is on the right track and the Bush 43 mess just takes time to clean up and Obama is doing the best he can with a Boehner led congress, I am hoping for an Obama victory. And the best way to ensure that is to have a weak opponent. And since I’ve been assuming that opponent will be Mitt Romney, the more Romney is attacked now, the less appealing he’ll be in November.
But I had a scary thought this morning. I woke up thinking about the surprise win yesterday and impressed with the impact populism has. I was also a little surprised by how collegial all the candidates sounded. As though they recognized that they needed to be confrontational to win South Carolina but need to switch gears in case they need to work together. And then it hit me: What if the winner is Romney and he picks his former rival Gingrich as his running mate? Romney would pull in the moderates and the rich who want the country run for them while Newt would pull in those drawn by his populism. And that ticket might be tough for Obama to beat. A scary future for our country.
Oh, and before you say that they couldn’t get together because they are rivals, c’mon. First of all we’re talking about Republican politicians which means they are masters at saying something to make their case regardless of the truthiness of it. They’ll have no problem switching from attacking to a love fest (like Perry and Huntsman did when they dropped out and scrubbed their web sites of anti-other-candidate messages) and they’ll make it all about unifying to beat Obama. And that will help sell the populist message even more. Second, we’re talking about Republican politicians which means that their goal is election and not principles (despite what their supposed message has been) so they’ll have no problem shifting again to move towards each other to make peace for the unified goal of power.
The only snag for these two potential lovebirds would be their individual baggage. Romney is so pro-captialism that he’s anti-real-people (companies are not people) and has money everywhere (including in the Cayman Islands) and houses everywhere and yet pays less in taxes percentage-wise than the average low to moderate income guy. Newt may not have literally asked for an “open marriage” but he was probably caught cheating on wife #2 with eventual wife #3 and that’s after leaving wife #1 while she was sick. And Newt is of course the guy who consulted with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while they were in the midst of causing the housing crisis he is against now. So that’s a lot of shared baggage and you could argue the ticket would be better off with a relative unknown without the baggage. Still, the whole relative unknown thing didn’t work out well for McCain/Palin so the GOP may push for something like a Romney/Gingrich thing.