Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday Political Notes

My father would be happy to know the Giants won today. He was a fan during so many terrible years, and now...dynastic.

The ads run during the Super Bowl all seemed short on imagination, but one stands out. Chrysler and Clint Eastwood came together for something that feels rather like an Obama campaign ad, especially in light of Mitt Romney having written an editorial at the time of the auto bailout that advocated for letting the American car companies die:

Clint's known to be an Republican but one who could care less about abortion or gay marriage issues, somewhere between Eisenhower and Libertarian. Whether he'd ever vote for Obama, I wouldn't wager, but nonetheless this seems to dovetail with the campaign.

As for Mitt, I've thought for a long time that the best GOP move would be to nominate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and corner the Libertarian vote. I don't expect that to happen, but Rep. Paul is gathering forces this run that will surely be handed to his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in four years. This expectation is why I do not believe Rep. Paul will mount a Third Party Presidential bid this year. With the spread of Rep. Paul's message between now and then, and his son's relative youth, I expect Sen. Paul will be a bigger threat to win the nomination in 2016 than his father is now.

The other choice for the GOP would be to choose an actual hardline Conservative candidate, i.e. former Senator Rick Santorum. He's for immediate war with Iran, he's against contraception let alone a woman's choice for her own body, what's not there for a staunch rightwing Republican to like? That way, if a "true" Conservative loses, the GOP would have some soul-searching to do and (at least if they're rational) come back more "moderate" in 2016, even if only in messaging.

Instead it appears they're getting Willard Mitt Romney, who's talking like a full-blown reactionary but is suspected of Liberalism. So if/when Mitt loses to President Obama, the hardcore Republicans will just say they should have gone even more Conservative, no soul-searching required.

If I were a Republican operative in the current situation I'd say, fine, let it be Mitt, whatever, as long as he's stays rich and writing checks. Mitt has enough money to fund zillions of dollars worth of consultants, ad agencies, speechwriters, campaign staff, etc. He's a 2012 gravy train for professional GOoPers. Take his money -- I'm sure it's as green as Teresa Heinz-Kerry's in 2008 -- and get paid for the cycle. Less likely that'll happen with Newty.

As for Obama's election strategy, to circle back to Clint and Chrysler:
US Vice President Joe Biden spelled out a blunt reelection message for his boss President Barack Obama on Tuesday -- "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."
Simple, direct, and even a little more imaginative than 9/10ths of this year's Super Bowl ads.

No comments: