Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 7:00 pm
By MICHAEL REAGAN
Iowa caucus results show it’s still early in the game and nothing’s certain.
So what happened on the way to the Republican presidential nomination?
Well, even with a slim official win, Mitt Romney did no better in practical terms this year than he did four years ago in 2008 because of the level of competition. This proves that the road to the 2012 nomination will be anything but smooth, and that he has a tough road ahead if he is to win the Republican presidential nomination.
Mitt has a big problem in his seeming inability to relate to the average working man or woman. He’s a bit too self-assured. As for Rick Santorum, he threw a monkey wrench into Ron Paul’s meteoric rise by almost winning, and proved that Romney is not as unbeatable as his worshippers in the media would like us to believe.
Rick gave an off-the-cuff, Reaganesque speech that marked him as a staunch conservative in the style of my late Dad, Ronald Reagan. He leaves no doubt that his love for America is genuine and deep-rooted.
Ron Paul proved that his supporters are in there for the long haul. Moreover he proved that the GOP needs to pay attention to his message of fiscal sanity and restraint in federal spending or the average Republican, fed up with the witless squandering of our tax dollars, might bolt in November.
Newt Gingrich managed to live to see another day, and he’ll do battle in both New Hampshire and South Carolina — not with Romney, who he’s out to destroy, but with Rick Santorum. Newt needs to be more passionate and less professorial and, for heaven’s sake, Newt, put on a damned tie.
Perry needs to retool his message and overcome the gaffes for which he has become so infamous. He says he’s going home to reconsider his candidacy, but if he stays in the race he will meet Santorum and Gingrich in South Carolina and that will be the end for him. The conservative winner there will then go on, and the others will need to go home.
As for Michele Bachmann, she made the right decision to go back to Minnesota and run for re-election and not be like California’s Bob Dornan, who stayed too long in running for president and as a result lost his House seat to Loretta Sanchez.
The Iowa caucuses are over but the fun has just begun. Fasten your seatbelts, America, the ride ahead may get bumpy. There might now be room for another candidate to emerge and sweep the field.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press, 2011). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his website at www.reagan.com, or e-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Published in The Messenger 1.6.12