Bookmark and Share Were it not for the existence of his Massachusetts Healthcare plan that was seen as a precursor to Obamacare, Mitt Romney would not only be the clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, he would be a candidate with all the enthusiasm and buzz around him. However, the fact that Romney adopted for his state, a healthcare plan that is anathema to conservatives, prohibits Romney from having a clear path to the Republican presidential nomination. But is this fair and can it really seal Romneys fate? Not only can it seal his fate, it could seal the G.O.P.s fate in the 2012 general election.

In the battle for the Republican nomination, opponents of Mitt Romney will use Romneycare against the former Massachusetts Governor like a lethal weapon. They will use it to undermine Romneys credibility on every level. They will use it to raise doubts about his commitment to everything from free markets and small government, to conservative values and his political integrity. Those challenging Romney will pile his creation of a government-centric solution to healthcare in Massachusetts on to his flip-flops and depending on how well they define Romney, most of his campaign will be spent having to defend ground instead of gaining ground.

And this will not come from just any one opponent. It will come from all of them. It may even be used by former Governor and Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, a moderate, as means to make himsel a bit more appealing to conservatives by claiming that he does not believe in big government solutions.

For his part, Romney has tried to preempt the attacks. Even though he has yet to make his candidacy official, Romney has offered up several major speeches to defend the albatross of Romneycare that hangs around his neck and he has used just about every other speaking engagement to raise the issue and defend his position. But these attempts to remove the issue from his opponents weapons cache have failed. Debilitating doubts about Romneys ideological purity continue to build. This weak point in Romneys armor makes him vulnerable to other attempts to assassinate his character. They make it easier topaint Romney as being politically disingenuous and lacking any sincerity.

As was pointed out in the campaign against him in 2008, Mitt has had a change of heart ona number of issuessuch asabortion. Romney once defended Rowe vs. Wade until he became a right-to-life opponent of it. But the list of things he can be accused of changing his mind on seem to grow and grow. On gun rights Romney went from supporting a ban on assault weapons to opposing any bans on the right to bear arms. On campaign financing he once said I would like to have campaign spending limits only to latergo on record saying “The American people should be free to advocate for their candidates and their positions without burdensome limitations.

On their own, some of these positions and statements may not be damning eneough to dash Romney’s presidential hopes, but when combined, they can be used to convincingly paint Mitt Romney as an insincere politician with no commitment to his beliefs. With the backdrop of Romneycare, such attacks have not only a good chance of sticking, they have a good chance of derailing Romneys candidacy.

But what if in between good strategy and a well financed campaign, Romney were to somehow still finagle enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination?

I still believe that Presidetn Obama’s liberal-socialist agendahas proven himself to be too ideological extreme and that the single issue of the economy will still make it possible for Mitt Romney to defeat the President. Buteven I, a 2008 supporter of Romney, believe thatthe former Massachuisetts governorhas painted himself so tightly in a corner that despite how vulnerable President Obama is and will be, the Presidents campaignhas a good chance to make mincemeat out of Romney.

Thanks to the window of opportunity to exploit doubt about Romneys ideological purity that was created by Romneycare, Governor Romneys record of both words and deeds is so vulnerable to attack and distortion, that even President Obama can shape a campaign that makes himself look like a man of undisputable principle and character when compared to Romney. Such an impression of Romney is most definetly innaccurate but well orchestrated campaigns can make false impressions seem like facts. Still though, Mitt Romneys vulnerabilities in this area are so exposed, that the Obama campaign has a good opportunity to distract the foucs away from the issues , which happen to be where the campaign could really be won or lost. Instead, with Romney as the Republican nominee, the Obama reelection campaign will have a clear path to creating a campaign that can distract us from his losing suit.the issues, and force us to focus on Romneys character and a perceived lack of trust that we can have in him and his word.

These are basic concepts that, as indicated by the video below, Democrats have already thought of.

Such videos come from one of the major arteries of a good campaign.opposition research. And whether we realize it or not, Democrats have been doing plenty of opposition research for President Obamas reelection campaign ever since he was sworn in to office as President. Unfortunately for Mitt, since his own performance in the 2008 nomination contest, the once , likely chance of his being the 2012 nominee, forced Democrat and Obama operatives to do more opposition research on Romney, than anyone else. That means they probably have more ammunition to use against him than they do on anyone else.

Still, Mitt Romney is determined to win the Republican presidential nomination and the presidency. Unfortunately, that determination is likely to make the Republican presidential contest an extraordinarily negative one. If Romney is to survive past any of the early primaries and caucuses, he will find himself in a position of having to equal the playing field that his opponents are on. So in addition to playing his defensive game, in order for him to gain any yards of his own, he will also have to play a strong offense. That means he will be forced to throw as much dirt as he can against those who would get ahead by the doing the same to him. In the end, such a process will not be helpful for Republicans. It will ultimately weaken the final ticket and undermine the potency of the issues we could use against the President in the general election.

Even thoughthis is all quite possible, there still remains the possibility for Romney to win both the nomination and the White House. As a result of who doesnt run for the Republican presidential nomination, if he can defend himselff romthe attacks against him in a straightforward, dignified, and believable way, Romney could win the nomination by default. Once that happens, his own opposition research may discover ways to severely undermine the character and trust of President Obama as much as the President wil undermine Romneys. Such an equalization of the playing field in the general election would make theelection a choice between the lesser of two evils. Combine that witha convincingly conservative appraoch to the economyand a path to prosperity that is more realistic than President Obamas, may be enough to win. But even that path to victory for Romney is going to be quite difficult to achieve. The sting of Mitt’s Romneycare creation in an election where Obamacare is both an actual and ideologically symbolic centerpiece,can be strong enough to insprirea conservative oriented, Tea Party-like candidateto mount a Thid Party candidacy. That will only benefit President Obama.Bookmark and Share

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