Wednesday, February 8, 2012

GOP race

If you have read any of my previous political posts, you are aware of my liberal points of view. But I feel that I need to chime in on the current GOP primary season. Tens of millions of dollars are being spent in this primary. By the time the GOP actually picks a candidate, we will be talking in terms of hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent. Up to two billion dollars may be spent this year by both sides!These special interest Super PACs are a joke. Money is certainly going to buy votes in this election cycle.

It is a travesty that we, the American people, must endure almost 2 years of political posturing by candidates. The primary season just started and I am already sick of the news. Pretty soon, when it is our state's time to elect primary candidates, all we will see on television is political advertisements. Now, because of the Super PACs, they will all be attack ads.

The heir-apparent (maybe), Romney is the only candidate I see that could take down Obama in a General Election. If that doesn't happen, the GOP is in trouble. Because of the splintering of this party (I'm looking in your direction Tea Party), the GOP is struggling to find its identity. Bouncing around between Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney, the party has no clear direction. I think Ron Paul, even though he has great ideology and a strong following, will not make it past Super Tuesday.

Santorum's social conservative views may allow him to win Primaries, but will not be received well with Democrats and Independents. To win General Elections, Presidents must slide towards the middle to get the votes needed. Santorum will never do that. He believes in his principles. He will live by the sword and die by the sword. Thank goodness for that!

Gingrich is to disorganized and panders to all audiences, which will not play well, especially in our "always on" culture. Up to the past decade, candidates could promise the world to the different groups that they were courting because these messages were never disseminated as easily to everyone. Now, as soon  as a sentence is muttered, it is sent to everyone and that message is analyzed and scrutinized before it is even printed in a newspaper. 90's politics doesn't work in today's politics. We'll see if Newt can change his ways. I am doubtful.

That leaves Romney. Even though he isn't getting the ultra-Conservative and Evangelical  votes, I still think he has the best shot to beat Obama. However, he does have a long way to go yet. He needs to prove to his base that he is different from Obama. At the same time, he needs to prove to Independents and Democrats that he is a better alternative.

What it will come down to though is money. Who spent the most money to get the most ads out? Who's Super PAC discredited the other opponent better? It is sad. When all is said and done, it sounds like both parties, including Super PACs, are on the path on spending over a billion dollars each for this year's Presidential election.

Think about this. What can two billion dollars buy? This is what UNICEF can do with that money! Do they need to spend that much money? Really!?

Here's a good PBS analysis of the Super PACs.  Pay attention to these non-profit Super PACs as well. Donors do not have to provide disclosure. This means they can put millions of dollars into these groups and they don't have to worry about telling anyone. Pretty sneaky politics is about to play out this year.

Unfortunately, the best candidate, especially now, rarely wins. It is about skating the issues, making promises, and seeing if you can discredit your opponent better than they can. The train wreck that is the Presidential election cycle has begun is fun to watch, but when it comes to a grinding halt, let's see what pieces are left to salvage!

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