Monday, January 2, 2012

Romney's Southern Problem: The "M" Word

- It's Not What You Might Think -

For all of the pundits who are putting a spit-polish shine on Mitt Romney's coronation-ready, GOP crown; slow down. The fat lady is still in the wings running through her scales.

I'm actually seeing predictions that Romney will win Iowa, win New Hampshire, and then win South Carolina. I would rate those projections as obviously possible, almost certain and simply not going to happen.

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Image via Wikipedia
I can see Romney winning Iowa or at least finishing second in Iowa. He should win his neighboring state of New Hampshire; anything else would be a major upset. As for South Carolina - listen to me, well-meaning Yankee pundits - it's not going to happen. It's the "M" word.

What? "Mormon"? No, get real; you guys are far too quick to project your prejudices on others. There are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints all through the South and while they may not be ultra-active in politics, they are viewed as being good people and good neighbors. They are walking examples of the "family values" that the Republican Party endorses so heartily. Mitt Romney's "M" word problem is Massachusetts.

The fact that Mitt Romney could have been elected the Governor of Massachusetts makes him suspect to a lot of Southerners. If The Bay State is not the most liberal state in the union, then it's so close that the difference is negligible. That Romney could be chosen to represent them is not a ringing endorsement for conservatives. Look at whom the people of Massachusetts have chosen to represent them.

Somewhere down the line after having Samuel Adams set a good example, something went very, very wrong. Do the names Ted Kennedy, Paul Tsongas, Michael Dukakis, Gerry Studds and Barney Frank ring a cracked bell with you? When you read this list do you think that maybe they burned the wrong folks at the stake in colonial Salem?

For decades the state of Massachusetts has been one of the greater providers of America's Loony Left, whether in politics or as the source of bizarre interpretations of the US Constitution. This state was home to an author whose unique approach to life seems to be reflected in the political outlook of the residents. His name was Theodor Geisel, though you probably know him better as Dr. Seuss.

It's not a personal dislike; I've spent a little time in Boston and enjoyed it. Breakfast at the Parker House followed by anything for lunch and then dinner at Legal Seafood and you've had a great day regardless of what else happens. The residents I encountered were extremely nice, competent and genuinely gracious. We did not; however, discuss politics at all. Not a single word or syllable, because the normal Bostonian's politics would never fly with the average Southerner, which is Mitt Romney's problem.

Ah, you may point out, but the South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, has endorsed Mitt Romney and she is a Tea Party person which should shore up Romney with conservatives. Wrong. As previously discussed, Tea Party supporters may be influenced less by a politician's statements than anyone else in America. Governor Haley's endorsement may be nice and it may help with a state organization, but it will prove next to useless in converting Tea Partiers to Romney supporters.

If Mitt Romney is to have a chance in South Carolina then he has to answer questions about a self-described conservative who could have been elected in a state so blue that Crayola may change the names of its three primary colors to red, yellow and Massachusetts. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how he could go about it, but I am quite sure that if this is not resolved then Mitt Romney will not win South Carolina.

Written by Ken Carroll

Disclaimer: At this time I have still not settled upon a personal choice for the GOP Presidential nomination. I will support the eventual GOP nominee.

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