Life of the party
At a time when Republican challengers should be stepping up to fight for next year’s nomination, the field remains as muddled as ever – aside from Ron Paul once again throwing his hat in the ring (but I’m starting to think he does that more out of habit now than anything else).
Last week kicked off with Mitt Romney’s health care speech in Minnesota. And while I applaud Romney tackling the issue head on, his tone came across as far too defensive, if not downright petulant. And his “What’s good for Massachusetts isn’t good for the country,” logic will do little to dispel this story over the coming months. While I agree with his argument – that states should be able to determine their own destinies free of federal influence – I'm afraid it got lost. Until he addresses this more effectively – and frankly – it will continue to haunt him throughout the primaries.
It’s also worth pointing out that his push for selling across states lines – a compelling argument shared by a lot of my broker friends – will almost certainly draw further federal scrutiny at a time when, honestly, we could use less of it. I mean, do you really put it past President Obama to appoint a National Insurance Commissioner – who’d probably be called the Insurance Czar?
Mike Huckabee dropped out, blaming it on his heart – although I’m sure his checking account appreciates his decision. But the social-conservative-turned-pundit really had no chance, after recent missteps in the media.
Speaking of which, The Donald had to fire himself after the one-two punch of seeing Obama’s birth certificate and Osama's death certificate in the same week killed whatever foul-mouthed conspiracy momentum he had going.
But we’ve still got Newt Gingrich, whose health care views align pretty closely with Romney’s. I’ve got to give him credit for speaking out against Paul Ryan’s so-called right-wing social engineering, because, honestly, he’s right. And that’s no better than the kind practiced by the left. But he also crippled his chances at securing the nomination, as well. Gingrich is a brilliant man, but a fundamentally flawed politician who can be his own worst enemy – at least in the press.