Sunday, December 11, 2011

Is Romney the GOP’s Kerry?

Is Romney the GOP’s Kerry?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 11, 2011

“One dollar. Fine.”

Thus the incredulous reaction of Dan Aykroyd’s Trading Places character Louis Winthorpe III upon finding out the value of the wager made by the uber-rich Duke brothers to maliciously toy with Winthorpe’s life allegedly in the interest of science.

For all their millions of dollars, the skin-flinted Duke brothers, played masterfully by Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, would never wager more than their usual – one dollar, a lesson that could be learned by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

During the candidate debate held on Saturday, December 10 in Des Moines, IA, home of the first in the nation caucuses, the former Massachusetts governor challenged sitting Texas Governor Rick Perry on an issue of disagreement with an outrageous wager of $10,000.

Such an amount is unseemly to most Americans and certainly to most Iowans. With the median income in the United States at $50,221 and $48,065 in Iowa (2009 figure from US Census Bureau), it would take two and a half months of Iowa income to reach the $10,000 mark, but apparently that is pocket change for Romney.

While I do not begrudge anyone the money they earn, such an outlandish suggested wager by Romney is both insensitive at a time of high unemployment in this country and demonstrative of his being pretentious and perhaps out of touch with the so-called average American.

It is this kind of pretentiousness by Romney that is reminiscent of Senator John Kerry (MA), the Democrat’s vanquished presidential candidate in 2004. Whether the video of him windsurfing or his mishandling of a food order, Kerry looked out of touch with the folks.

At the famous Pat’s Steaks in Philadelphia on August 11, 2003, Kerry committed the major faux pas of ordering his cheese steak with Swiss cheese instead of the traditional Provolone or Cheez Whiz ® and looked painfully out of his element in his attempt to eat the Philadelphia sandwich.

I have been attempting to avoid attacking any of the GOP candidates, save for Ron Paul, whose foreign policy ideas are so off the beaten path they would frighten even the most ardent of isolationists, as per Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment – thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. The main reason for this is to avoid giving the Democrats fuel for their fire, especially knowing how Obama fights in the Chicago-style of campaigning. However, they will have all the firepower they need and want regardless of what I write here or anywhere else for that matter.

Hopefully, Romney will learn from this mild indiscretion. For if he is to be the GOP standard-bearer in 2012, Republicans nationwide will need to coalesce around him in order to take on Obama in the general election. It will be vital to support Romney in his effort to demonstrate why he is better suited to the presidency than the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Romney will need to point to the failed policies of Obama now that he has a record on which to run, unlike in 2008 when there was no record, no paper trail other than a long line of “present” votes.

In 2012 Obama will not possibly be able to stand on his record of failure and expect a second term coronation the media gave him prior to his first. Hopefully, if Romney is the GOP nominee, he will have learned his lesson during the playoffs and be ready for the championship.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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