The EFM Feature
Loser, from Flickr user jugbo, used under a Creative Commons license

With the Iowa caucuses just days away, there are countless competing memes and sources of heat in the presidential race right now–most recently the surprise departure of Rep. Bachmann’s Iowa chairman for Rep. Paul’s campaign.  Amidst all this, I want to return to something crucial that occurred right before Christmas, because let’s face it:  Neither Rep. Bachmann nor Rep. Paul is going to be the Republican nominee or even the plausible anti-Romney in later primaries.  But if conservatives don’t wake up, Speaker Gingrich might be.

What I want to return to is the Speaker’s failure to make the GOP primary ballot in Virginia–and his subsequent comparison of his failure to Pearl Harbor Day, both of which Nancy noted.  This might sound like small ball, but it isn’t.  If you’re going to compare yourself constantly to Ronald Reagan (as the Speaker did just yesterday, and not for the first time) and seek to challenge an incumbent President of the United States who’s seeking to raise $1 billion with which to destroy you, you simply have to be able to handle details like making the ballot in major states.

Some have said Virginia recently changed its rules and they’re unfair.  Maybe that’s true.  But life is unfair, and if you can’t collect 10,000 signatures in your own state, you have no business trying to collect 270 electoral votes in what is sure to be a brutal general election.  This failure by Speaker Gingrich is unforgivable incompetence, plain and simple.

And his comparison of his own ineptitude to one of the most tragic days in American history just adds insult to injury.

Our guy, Gov. Romney, has many failings.  So do I.  So do you.  So does every candidate.  But his are forgivable, and when it comes to policy stances, mirrored by the Speaker himself.  This kind of incompetence, when we’re looking for someone capable of such a feat as defeating President Obama in an incredibly complex and expensive national campaign, is not.  Don’t lose sight of that as we move beyond Iowa and New Hampshire.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Comments and Discussion

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10 Responses to Unforgivable Incompetence

  1. Karen N in Los Angeles, CA says:

    Hello from California. I support Mitt Romney and I’m not even a Republican (or Democrat). Mitt Romney cares about what is important like the defecit, taxes and the economy.

    Apart from not making it on the ballot, Newt Gingrich is the only speaker of the house who was sanctioned in the amount of $300,000, 30 years ago so think about that amount after inflation. Leopards don’t change their spots.

    Fast forward to today and Newt Gingrich has ties to Freddie Mac, one of the key players in the mortgage meltdown which almost caused our country’s economic collapse. Freddie Mac is in conservatorship. Gee, let’s just give Newt the country to handle since he did such a good job for Freddie Mac. Sure he did. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    Not only does Newt not have the support in VA, it is plain and simple that he is just another crony politician who is in the game for himself and his wallet.

    And the biggest issue of all -the Republicans need people like me (an independent) to vote for them or the Republicans will lose. There are far more Democrats in this country and is a simple fact. They probably will vote for Obama. You have to give us independents an alternative to Obama . Newt, Santorum, Perry, Paul and Bachmann will not get the independent vote at all and that is a fact.

    I support Mitt Romney because he has BUSINESS and POLITICAL EXPERIENCE. He lowered taxes 19 times in a state with a Democratic legislature. Mitt Romney gets along with people that is what we Americans need in the White House right now.

  2. Terry says:

    Well written. It’s not the big things that necessarily define who would make a good president, but how well the potential candidate takes care of the little things that counts. I doubt that anyone would dispute that in the area of organizational ability, Romney outclasses all the others. Of course, that, by itself, is not the defining factor as to whether or not the person is good presidential material, but it is an absolutely vital and necessary ingredient, in my opinion. I’ve always liked Newt, and still do, but for president, I don’t think that he’s the best qualified for the position at this time. That honor needs to go to Mitt Romney.

    On a side note, I’d like to see Newt as a VP to Romney. The two of them as a team would be unbeatable. Obama wouldn’t stand a chance.

    • Brandon from NJ says:

      I wouldn’t prefer Newt as VP to Romney, he isn’t very well-tempered. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind West, Jindal, or perhaps someone else from the military as a running mate, I think it likely that Romney would choose a military man as the running mate to cover his own lack of military experience, should the opportunity come his way.

  3. Robert says:

    I disagree! I am a Romney supporter but would never vote for Newt under any conditions. First, he has no family value at his core as evident in his multiple Adulterous acts! Second, he quit. It got tough and he was removed as speaker and he quit and walked away pouting his removal declaring All or nothing! Today he is not organized and people left his campaign early because he wanted to go on vacation in Greece and he did. The net result was not getting organized in Iowa, NH or Virginia! It is becoming obvious he was not ready! Third, he gave up his Paul Revere moment and took hush money at Freddie admitting he knew a meltdown would occur. His role was to introduce conservatives to Freddie insider and slow GWB attempt to them break up! He lied saying he was a 300k historian! Finally after six years of living with Callista, she will not marry a Baptist and tells Newt to join the Catholic Church or bye bye. He is a sellout to Tyndall, Luther, Wycliffe and all those who suffered under the oppression that brought reformation. He knows, he is a historian. Every part of the man has been revealed!

  4. Jan says:

    The blogs are saying that the change in rules in Virginia made it easier to get on the ballot, not harder. Is Newt whining that any change is unfair? Newt should have been collecting signatures about the time he went on his cruise. What does he bring to a GOP ticket as VP? We don’t need our own version of Biden, who always has his foot in his mouth. There are many competent options for VP who would add to the ticket, like Christie, Rice or Rubio. Newt can go write a book on how not to run a campaign and do another book tour.

  5. Jean says:

    The thought of Newt will be president scare the wit out of me. Who in the right mind would vote for a person who set a policy and change his mind the next morning. Voting for Newt is voting for Obama. Either one of the two Obama or Newt will bring back our nightmare. Check out all the policies Newt have supported. It is enough to scare you.

  6. Robin says:

    I usually like what you say, Terry, but not your comment of having Newt be the VP. I want him as far away from Washington as we can get him. Romney will pick someone competent and electable. Newt is neither of these.

    • Terry says:

      Robin…My reason for choosing Newt for VP is because of his popularity. VP’s don’t do much anyway, and they have little or no say in making policy. It was a “wild hair” decision on my part, I admit, based on him still being popular when the time comes for Mitt to choose a VP. If his popularity tanks before then, I’m prepared to flip-flop and throw my *ah-hem* considerable political weight (exaggeration intentional) behind someone else. I know that Newt is a loose cannon, and I guess the thought of him running his mouth around D.C. and shaking up things appealed to my sense of humor.

  7. Bert says:

    A basic prerequisite for running for political office is knowing and adhering to the laws and regulations required to run for that office in individual states.. The legal requirements all states have for aspiring presidential candidates wanting to get on their ballot is freely accessible on the Internet. The failure of Bachman, Gingrich, and Perry to have their staffs access this information and allow sufficient time to gather the necessary signatures to put their candidates on the ballot in these states reflects gross organizational incompetence. Thank goodness Romney and his staff are sufficiently organized and professional to take care of such matters in a timely and competent manner. Professionalism and competence matter in determining which candidates can run effective campaigns and provide competent governance if elected.

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