On Mitt Romney and candidate quality

I’ve been hard on Mitt here and thinking about how amazingly little he inspires even his supporters to be the frontrunner.  But then again, the truth  is, it’s not at all amazing.  Obama was definitely the exception, not the rule.  And though many conservatives had a hard time embracing McCain, he certainly had an inspiring personal story that inspired people across the political spectrum.  So, no, Romney doesn’t inspire many people.  Bu that didn’t exactly stop Al Gore from winning the popular vote or John Kerry coming damn close.  Or, Michael Dukakis, seemingly the anti-inspirational candidate from winning the Democratic nomination.  Here’s Drum’s take:

In any case, this means that out of 11 non-incumbent candidates over the past three decades, only two [Obama and Reagan] were clearly inspirational at the time, two more [Clinton and GWB] were possibly B-list inspirational, and seven were basically duds. Long story short, we Americans aren’t usually very happy with the presidential choices put in front of us. The 2012 Republican primary is much more the rule than the exception.

I do think that, sadly, Newt inspires many conservatives, but he inspires the worst aspects of their political nature.  If there’s a phrase that’s the opposite of “the better angels of our nature” I think it’s safe to say, that’s what Newt’s campaign is all about.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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