Mitt Romney’s Test: Surviving Tuesday

Mitt Romney’s against the ropes and Rick Santorum’s hoping to land a knockout blow on Tuesday before his own skeletons come to light, taking the wind out of the sails of his surging popularity, forcing him to compete with Romney on substance rather than rhetoric.

A double-defeat in Michigan and Arizona would imperil the Romney campaign, risking the perceived Republican front-runner’s chances of winning the nomination, in the process weakening the GOP’s chances in the fall elections.

Until recently tomorrow’s primaries were viewed as a stepping stone to the big show on March 6th known as Super Tuesday. In the past month Romney’s poll numbers have nose-dived, at one point bottoming out 15% below Santorum in Romney’s home state of Michigan.Romney’s Raider’s responded quickly by increasing the number and severity of attack ads and tripling Santorum’s advertising budget in an attempt to revive Romney’s hopes in his home state.

That strategy appears to be working. The race has tightened considerably, with Romney showing a slight two-point lead in both states. However, the latest polls also reveal that neither Romney nor Santorum is doing well against President Obama, who’s maintaining a double-digit lead over both potential Republican candidates in multiple head-to-head polls conducted on Monday, February 27th.

Repeated flubs and miscues by both candidates are undermining their campaign hopes.

In a speech for members of the Detroit’s Economic Club, the focus of Romney’s speech – the unveiling of his plan to increase Medicare’s eligibility age – was undermined by the following twittable quip, “I uh – I love this country. I should love this state. This feels good being back in Michigan. Uh – you know the trees are the right height, the uh – the streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy Pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillac’s actually and uh – I used to have a Dodge Truck so I used to have all three covered.” That quote went viral immediately and became the fodder for satirists everywhere.

It was matched by an equally embarrassing revelation by Santorum. In a widely disseminated speech from 2008 an excited Santorum is shown telling an enraptured audience that Satan has attacked America “using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

If Santorum can pull off another sweep Romney will be reeling and possibly down for the count. However, if Romney’s Raider’s are able to revive their champion through attack ads their success may undermine the hopes for any Republican presidential candidate in the fall elections as the negativity fostered during the primaries will come to fruition in the fall’s ballot boxes.

The results of tomorrow’s primaries will determine whether or not the Republican primary becomes a veritable wasteland of negativity. A place where there are no winners, but a place where victory is awarded to the candidate suffering the fewest degrees of loss.


A Mitt and his dog

Mitt plays the role of Seamus at a town hall meeting

Mitt recreating that fateful vacation

I don’t understand all the hate being directed towards Mitt Romney. Yes, he drove from Boston to Canada with his dog strapped to the roof of his SUV. What his critics are failing to realize is that Mitt had found a brilliant solution to a terrible situation.

Mitt had just packed the last piece of luggage into his SUV when the sound of his dog yelping caused him to look up. Seamus, his beloved Irish Setter with the slow Scottish mind, was running toward the house yipping and yapping.

The sound reminded Mitt of one of those furry little soccer balls popular among the suburbanites who wanted a trained cat but settled for the closest thing they could find. As Mitt headed toward his dog the breeze brought with it a hint of the scent that had set off his friend – Rick Santorum’s skunk. Mitt realized the poor dog must have wandered into Santorum’s yard (again) and Rick had sic’d his pet Skunk, Gipper, on the poor pooch.

Rick had been threatening to do this ever since Seamus had eaten one of his children. Unfortunately neither Rick nor his wife was certain as to which child had been devoured. Mitt had brushed off the angry words of his working staff. He believed that the Santorums, being good Catholics, would simply replace their missing offspring within a year — no harm, no foul. Even the Santorums weren’t sure how many children they had, as evidenced by their creative tax returns.

There wasn’t enough time for a trip to the veterinarian, nor did Mitt want to delay his family’s vacation. Everyone was looking forward to laughing at the poor people of Canada. Mitt had planned on using the trip to teach his children firsthand about the evils of Socialism. Seamus was becoming an unacceptable delay.

The children might catch on if he replaced the dog again and Seamus Mark III arrived at the hotel after being shipped same-day from another state. That worked last summer when the kids were at band camp, but it wouldn’t work here.

Mitt had really liked Seamus Mark I and regretted the events that led up to the unfortunate accident: a luxurious yacht, a bottle of wine, and one angry swordfish. At the end of the day the score was: fish 1, dog 0.

Looking up at the sky darkening with rain clouds, Mitt had an idea.

After loading his family into the SUV, Mitt placed Seamus in his cage and then strapped the cage to the roof. As the last strap was tightened the first drops of rain, heavy and wet, began to fall.

Mitt went into the garage and looked through the dog supplies until he found what he was looking for, a bottle of Skunk Be Gone®. He returned to find the rain, which was coming down in sheets by this time, had completely soaked Seamus.

Squirting the thick liquid all over his beloved friend he worked it up to a frothy lather (something that would make Santorum smile). Mitt thought the heavy rains and his lead foot would power-wash his pooch, removing all traces of the Santorum Scent. Once they were out of the storm he hoped the 100kph winds would dry Seamus’s coat and bring it to a brilliant luster.

It worked like a charm. His children were able to laugh at scores of poor people and Seamus smelled as fresh as a warm spring shower.

The Bedroom Economist

Being a moderate, I’m a huge fan of Ronald Reagan, whose nickname was The Gipper. In fact, there are many moderates that use the term The Gipper to convey great affection. I know I do.

I call my wife The Gipper when we’re in the bedroom because I’m a bedroom economist. Throughout our dating and engagement she really encouraged inflation. This led to a booming bedroom economy, or as we moderates like to call it, a bull market. Sometimes she would induce hyperinflation which, I must admit, wasn’t nearly as terrible as it’s been made out to be.

However, I didn’t realize that inflation was taxable until I got married. That’s when the real bull market reared its ugly head. Like the bloated bills floated through congress, the riders hidden in the fine print of marriage certificates have little to do with riding and a lot to do with austerity. I’m certain that there are many men and women who can relate to this sad tale of no.

I have been trying to raise my inflationary debt ceiling for years. It was hoped that this would encourage our bedroom economy, in the process rekindling our boom years. I am now painfully aware why many marriages enter extended recessionary periods. The cause is simple, inflationary spending cuts. For some bedroom economists these unlucky downturns can even turn into full blown depressions. While this is terrible news for any economist it is exceptionally troubling for bedroom brokers. But there is a solution. Keynes may not fully understand the implications of his fiscal policies, but he surely knows relationships, and what’s required to secure a très bon boudoir.

In order to get my bedroom economy moving forward again, with its relished inflation, I needed to offer tempting stimulus packages. I’ve found that embracing Keynesian economics was the only way to invigorate my economy and encourage healthy growth. Without a tempting stimulus my package could fester in a cold, dark recession for a very long time. A few of the stimuli that have worked include: a nice dinner, jewelry, and a weekend getaway.

If you’re a fan of bedroom economics, and value inflation as much as I do, then you need to embrace economic stimulation.

Inflation is your friend.