I’m not a Republican so I haven’t been following the GOP presidential campaign very closely. Nevertheless, I get the distinct impression that Mitt Romney has been the longterm favorite by just being there first. To my untrained eye, he appears to be a moderate Republican, who belongs to a controversial church, who has a socially liberal track record from his days as governor of Massachusetts. All well and good if you’re appealing to Independents and conservative Democrats, but as evidenced by John McCain’s failure in 2008, Republican politicians don’t get elected that way. And after 4 years of Obama, one would expect that the GOP rank-and-file will demand an even more conservative candidate.
But Romney ran for president 4 years ago, and didn’t appear to do anything else since he started running for president this time around. Essentially, he’s had a 4 year head start, in fund raising and in voter awareness. Basically, he’s that kid on Two and a Half Men — he was cute five seasons ago, didn’t get weird-looking during puberty, and now he just has to show up once a week and whatever lines have been written for him. Nobody thinks Angus T. Jones is good, but he shows up to work sober, so he keeps his job.
I would also compare Mitt Romney to a restaurant in Los Angeles. There are a handful of restaurants in town that people like to call “legendary” or “iconic,” but if you actually go and eat their food, you’ll find that it is mediocre at best. So how does Philippe get to be a world famous sandwich shop? By surviving for 100 years. Guess what? Their food sucks. What do you get when you stand in line at Pink’s for an hour or two? Just a hotdog. Nothing more. Why do you go to Pink’s when you could just as easily get a hotdog at dozens of other restaurants? The same reason why people are voting for Mitt Romney. Because they’re supposed to, not because they honestly expect to get a great meal.