It seemed just a short while ago that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was all alone atop the Republican contenders. He had a lead over Sarah Palin who wasn’t in the race, he lead in New Hampshire and performed well at the debate there and he was second in Iowa without aggressively campaigning there. But in the short span of this hot summer, his prospects for the nomination have melted away like spilled ice cream on a hot patio.
He is now one of the pack, and with Texas Governor Rick Perry looming ever larger with the threat entering the race, the governor needs to shine, but during the fierce Debt Ceiling debate/debacle last week he pulled a great David Copperfield impersonation-he disappeared.
Sure, towards the end of the debate he came out against the Boehner/Reid plan but it was way too late. He is the one candidate since the 2008 presidential campaign that people feel could have a real handle on the economics of the country and yet, in the middle of the fiercest spending debate the country has seen in a while and with the President on the sidelines, Mitt Romney had the opportunity to step up and argue in defense of the Tea Party and argue against the debt ceiling plan. Instead he was a no-show.
He could have easily had a press conference or paid for some TV time to argue his point against the bill. It would have a been a stroke of genius on two fronts. First, it would have shown real leadership that the country desperately needs and Two, it would have put him firmly in reach of the Tea Party and may have moved some of them closer to supporting him. Without their support, he doesn’t win the nomination and he lost out on a huge opportunity to move closer to them.
I think that this has been a major miscalculation on his part. Now he is getting blasted by Palin for coming out late and that will drive the wedge deeper and move him farther away from the base he needs the support of to win. There has been a void of leadership that needs to be filled and I feel the voters will gravitate to the candidate who has the most leadership qualities and the most policies aligned with voters who move from center to far right in belief.
The former governor needs to get himself in line policy wise with the right and get out in front of the issues or he will lose.