I remember Election Night, 1994 — one of the most exciting political nights of my life. I was working at a pre-campaign organization in Nashville for Lamar (!) Alexander. (Does anyone remember his plaid shirt? I was not responsible for that.) Anyway, on election night, I was at his headquarters, at the Opryland Hotel. This was election was the first time I heard “Mitt Romney” — as you remember he ran a tough fight against Ted Kennedy in Boston.
That night was full of hope while the newly elected officials talked about their Contract with America…. a contract that was scarcely signed before it fell apart in shreds. If this last election debacle is anything, it’s indicative that this Contract was worth less than the parchment on which it was written. At any rate, Newt Gingrinch was the Contract’s architect and chief implementer… which is why this article in the Washington Post befuddles me:
Gingrich is the biggest wild card in the race — he is the one person who benefits from the GOP’s midterm losses. The Republicans lost the House in part because they strayed too far from the limited government agenda that Gingrich’s “Contract With America” envisioned. And it was Gingrich, contract in hand, who helped the Republicans win power in 1994. Who better to get the GOP back on track?
Because they strayed too far? It was because he strayed too far. How his incompetent leadership could benefit him now is beyond me.
Also, the article talks about Gov. Romney:
The governor of Massachusetts may have had the best year of all the GOP presidential contenders: Nobody can blame him for what happened in Washington. He hired some well-connected talent for his political action committee, impressed diehard conservatives at the Heritage Foundation and the National Review, and mastered the politics of health care in a one-party legislature by pushing through a respected plan for universal coverage. And he gives the best presentation from the lectern.
But getting the GOP faithful to cheer for a Massachusetts politician will be a challenge. Plus, Republicans quietly wonder about “the Mormon thing,” as though it’s an aardvark chained to Romney’s ankle. (Are we afraid that he may be too wholesome?)
Um, I think being “too wholesome” is rarely our worry. Especially in this scandal fatigued time…