March 13, 1950 Charles Krauthamer on Mitt Romney March 12, 1947
Unified Field Theory of 2012, Axiom One: The more the Republicans can make
the 2012 election like 2010, the better their chances of winning.
The 2010 Democratic shellacking had the distinction of being the most
ideological election in 30 years. It was driven by one central argument in its
several parts: the size and reach of government, spending and debt, and, most
fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract. 2010 was a referendum
on the Obama experiment in hyperliberalism. It lost resoundingly.
Of course, presidential elections are not arguments in the abstract but
arguments with a face. Hence, Axiom Two: The less attention the Republican
candidate draws to him/herself, the better the chances of winning. To the extent
that 2012 is about ideas, about the case for smaller government, Republicans
have a decided edge. If it’s a referendum on the fitness and soundness of the
Republican candidate – advantage Obama.
Which suggests Axiom Three: No baggage and no need for flash. Having tried
charisma in 2008, the electorate is not looking for a thrill up the leg in 2012.
It’s looking for solid, stable, sober and, above all, not scary.
Given these Euclidean truths, here’s the early line. (Remember: This is
analysis, not advocacy.)
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