The 2012 Presidential Race has come to Michigan, at least on the Republican side. As there won’t be a race on the Democratic side, we don’t count that party yet.
This weekend is the time of the biennial Michigan Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island. The featured players, at least among those of national note, are former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts (by way of Michigan) and current Governor Rick Perry of Texas. Well, we should add that they are the aspirants most likely to win the GOP nomination, according to the people who make the news.
We mean the media.
But we’ll return to that point later. For this second, let us be content with the showing of the presumed front runners.
Romney said some neat things and is probably the prohibitive favorite to win Michigan’s primary next February, as former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land asserts. It is nice to be among people who ‘know what Vernors is’ said Romney himself, playing up his home state roots in a predictably hokey, meant to be homespun way. Governor Perry promised to make Washington ‘inconsequential’ in our lives as Michigan (add your favorite what do we call ourselves suffix) and draw as a hard a difference between himself and President Obama as he can.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. This doesn’t mean that we don’t like either candidate. It only means that we aren’t hearing anything substantial. At this point in time, we could vote for either.
Which brings us to a point which involves both Romney and Perry in a somewhat more dramatic fashion. This may be nothing more than a hunch, an inspiration calling out from the back of our mind which has no significant grounding in reality, but are we the only ones who feel a kind of vibe akin to that of the Reagan/Bush race in 1980? Not that either man could really be a Reagan…but they each could certainly be a Bush, the kind of center right politician with exactly enough established Republican support to have wide appeal within the party and the general populace. Indeed, we will go so far as to say, strictly shooting from the lip, of course, that a Romney-Perry or Perry-Romney ticket might be in the cards in the long run.
Romney would have both midwestern and eastern connections while Perry could hail the south and west. It is something that might just work, especially as Obama policies continue to fail. We’re not saying that it will happen. But if it does, you heard it here first. We think.
Going off on a tangent, we see that businessman Herman Cain has won the recent Florida straw poll by about 20% over the next contestant, Governor Perry. Yet as with Ron Paul’s finish at second in a similar poll in Iowa a few weeks back, he doesn’t seem to be generating much steam. He is pretty much being ignored by the popular media, who apparently believe that anything so modest as an early straw poll means little in a race which will more likely be decided by time and money and not the passion of an individual’s supporters.
Let’s be fair: such pervasive presumption is probably not out of line. Paul’s supporters are significant and loyal but too few to land the GOP nomination. And with name recognition meaning so much it would seem that Cain is out on the proverbial limb. Still, for those who claim to report and not make the news, it is a glaring inconsistency of their journalistic ethic that they effectively ignore the showings of Cain and Paul. We must conclude that they want a ‘mainstream’ Republican vying for the White House and not someone with ideas beyond that.
Yet if that is not in some way making the news (by effectively attempting to direct people towards whom to support) then we don’t know what is. In the meantime, the American voter sees their choice restricted.