Ron Paul

Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch at CNN.com on the Iowa Caucus and the Romney Paradox

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Get used to this face

At the opinion section of CNN.com, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch writes about last night's results and the Mitt Romney paradox. Sample:

[Despite giving him virtually the same vote totals], Iowa arguably derailed Romney in 2008 while shoring up his front-runner status this time around. GOP politics have become so fluid, so unpredictable, so bizarre, that the main point of the game is more about survival than winning. […]

[Electability] may be enough to help Romney survive against three competitors who are more excitable. But it also sets up one whale of a paradox: After 39 months of consistent public hostility to bailout economics, after the rise of the tea party movement, after town-hall opposition to "Obama care," after the long-shot Scott Brown win in Massachusetts, after the 2010 limited-government resurgence in the House of Representatives … after all of these unmistakable signs of public—let alone Republican—sentiment, the alleged party of limited government may be on the verge of nominating someone who is running to President Barack Obama's left on Medicare, who helped pave the way for the Obama policy Republicans hate most and who has no real plan for cutting the biggest growth items in the federal budget.

Read the whole thing here.

NEXT: Matt Welch on the Bright Side of Ron Paul's Third-Place Finish

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  1. Its a mystery to me how anyone can think that spending millions against a divided and weak field, all to get the same result he did 4 years ago, somehow proves Romney is a strong candidate.

    1. Seriously. He’s godawful.

    2. It isn’t the same result. It’s four years later, different voters, different turnout, different field of competitors.

      1. It isn’t the same result.

        Yes, it is. Even though its four years later, etc., he got the same number of votes.

        1. From different “voters,” against a different field of competitors.
          Hardly the “same” caucuses.

          1. You have trouble with the word “result”, don’t you?

            1. Reputable analysts examine more than just the numbers. The rest, they comment on the blogs.

          2. Thank you Heraclitus! (“You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.”) Rivers are not defined by the serial numbers on the water molecules, but by the beds they follow.

    3. It was a divided and weak field last time too.

      And Iowa is always going to be tough for Romney because of the Mormon thing.

      1. Politics is going to be tough for Romney because of the whole Romney thing.

      2. He’s getting the same voters. That will probably be enough to win the nomination, but the malaise come the general election will be thick enough to carve with a knife.

        4 more years…

  2. Here’s the simple reality: conservatives don’t have anywhere near the power and influence that the media likes to pretend they do.

    It’s been almost thirty freaking years since a guy who campaigned as a rock-ribbed conservative even won the republican party nomination! Everyone since then has been a moderate, because there are more moderates than there are conservatives and libertarian-leaners.

    1. Polls consistently show that not to be the case. More identify as conservative than as liberal or moderate. Sometimes combined. Two factors lock the vote in. Entitlements. People who pay into those expect a return, and thus their hands are tied. Two, conservatives are locked into the warfare/welfare tug-a-war. If they let go and call the welfare statist bluff, and allow spending to decrease, Iranians storm the borders.

      1. More identify as conservative than as liberal or moderate.

        You need to look into the difference between stated and revealed preferences.

        1. That is what the entire paragraph after the first sentence was about, so I don’t need to look up anything. What’s with the need for so many commentators to have a higher hand? Same fucking thing everyday no matter how many qualifiers you put in there to avoid that shit.

      2. Elections speak louder than imperfect polls do, and the bottom line is that an obvious moderate is going to run away with the nomination once again.

        If the republican party nationwide was as far to the right as some people like to believe, we’d see a Perry/Santorum/Bachmann type win the nomination once in a while. They don’t, because it isn’t.

      3. Most who receive entitlements vote GOP. Just look at the over-65 voter demographics.

        SS/Medi are the vast majority of entitlements.

  3. Vote Romney.

    Romney/Huntsman v. Obama/Clinton

    That is the narrative we’re running in the Fall; try to keep up.

  4. So Romney is nothing more than a White Obama. Santorum will NEVER WIN as president. Looks like another four years of either a White or Black Obama.

  5. someone who is running to President Barack Obama’s left on Medicare

    Ah, libertarians don’t believe in the left-right spectrum…except when they do.

    who helped pave the way for the Obama policy Republicans hate most

    Bullshit. You don’t think Obamacare would have happened anyway if Romney had never been elected governor? It’s not like MassCare was an innovative groundbreaking idea. Similar plans had been put forth since the early 1990s.

    In fact, MassCare has probably helped undercut Obamacare more than helped it, by providing a working example of the pernicious side-effects of such a system.

    and who has no real plan for cutting the biggest growth items in the federal budget.

    True, but that’s everybody (except Paul). Politically it’s stupid to divulge the cuts you plan to make in advance because it gives the Dems the chance to trot out the people who would be affected by the cuts to tell their tales of woe.

    1. Ah, libertarians don’t believe in the left-right spectrum…except when they do.

      This was published on CNN, so it has to be presented in terms that the audience will understand, idjit.

      1. Ah, libertarians don’t believe in the left-right spectrum…except when they do.

        And I’ve always seen libertarians as viewing politics as more than just a left-right spectrum. Tulpa’s trying to tell you if you don’t believe one dimension tells the whole story, you aren’t allowed to include it with another.

        1. I know. Tulpa is excels at the false-dichotomy fallacy.

          1. They really must teach that shit in school now. How else can the false dichotomy be so prevalent in our society?

            1. Multiple choice tests.

              1. The ancient Greeks had multiple choice tests?

            2. Most logical fallacies humans fall prey to arise from the evolutionary advantages of making quick decisions with limited or inconsistent data.

              In a sense, logical fallacies are often true, but are considered fallacies because they are not always true.

              And I wasn’t pushing a false dichotomy there, anyway.

              1. And I wasn’t pushing a false dichotomy there, anyway.

                You were pulling one.

              2. In a sense, logical fallacies are often true, but are considered fallacies because they are not always true.

                False dichotomies are rarely true.

                Example: If the president gets rid of the department of education our children won’t learn how to read.

                1. In survival/reproduction situations, which are the only ones that matter in an evolutionary sense, so-called fallacies are often true.

                  I don’t mean to get all White Indian here, but human instincts are poorly suited to handle gigantic political institutions and control vast amounts of energy. We evolved to fuck everything that moves, keep from getting eaten by a tiger, and find the best bananas on the tree.

                  That’s why we need civilization/education.

              3. In a sense, logical fallacies are often true

                I thought you were a math guy. That makes no sense.
                Unless you mean that while the logical proof is a fallacy because it is based upon a false premise, the conclusion is true for reasons other than the premises used in the proof. I guess that may make some sense.

                1. yes, that’s it.

                  A implies B is considered false if there is a counterexample, ie a case where A is true and B is false.

                  So even if A is true 1000 times and B is true 999 of those times, the implication is termed false.

                  I guess my point was that there are relatively few counterexamples to most logical fallacies in survival/reproduction situations.

        2. The left right spectrum isn’t a dimension in a larger political space, it’s just an incoherent mush.

          You guys were (rightly) screaming bloody murder when Chris Wallace accused RP of being to the left of Obama because of his Iran policy. Now you pull the same trick on Romney.

          1. No, its not the same trick.

            Ron Paul’s Iran policy is to the right of Obama’s because Wilson is left of Coolidge.

            1. So if Coolidge is making a turn on to Obama, and Paul is making a turn on to Wilson, who has the right of way?

              1. Zombie Calvin always has the right of way. Always.

    2. Romney hasn’t admitted Masscare was a failure yet, so in the eyes of the those who matter, it provided groundcover for Obama to point to.

    3. “In fact, MassCare has probably helped undercut Obamacare more than helped it, by providing a working example of the pernicious side-effects of such a system.”

      So Romney pushed Romneycare through in order to sabotage the yet to be enacted Obamacare with a negative example. My God that man is a master mind!

      1. No, he passed it because it was politically popular and well-intentioned, as well as possibly heading off at the pass a state-level single-payer system that Dems were clamoring for.

        It was a stupid law with terrible results and I wish he’d admit that… however it’s not the same as Obamacare.

      2. Verily, Mitt Romney’s entire life is one huge Xanatos Gambit: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmw…..atosGambit

    4. I can’t wait for a year of your shilling for Romney, Tulpa. You were insufferable before. Now you’re downright repulsive. Congratulations on being GOP joe.

      1. Romney has plenty of warts. I only protest when the case is overstated, as it is here.

        You want to criticize his support for a state-level insurance mandate? Fine. I’ll be right there with you.

        You claim he paved the way for Obamacare? I blow the whistle.

        1. “NBC News reports, “Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as ‘Obamacare.'””

          http://content.usatoday.com/co…..re-model/1

          1. To substantiate the claim that Masscare paved the way for Obamacare, one must at a minimum show that Obamacare would have been less likely to exist if Masscare hadn’t.

            You haven’t done that, neither has Welch.

            The link you give only shows that Obama consulted some of the same advisors Romney did. There’s a limited pool of health care experts out there, so it’s to be expected that this would happen. Those advisors would still exist, and would still be considered experts, even if MassCare had never come to fruition.

            1. I’m not sure how anyone would “show” this, but you don’t think the fact that a state had implemented something like that didn’t serve as some guide/precedent/encouragement that would not have existed sans the implementation? That’s pretty far fetched imo.

              1. The basic idea behind MassCare had been proposed as early as 1993.

                Since we’re talking about fallacies in this thread, I’ll note you’re indulging post hoc ergo propter hoc here.

                1. You don’t want to answer the question?

                  An idea is floated. A state enacts a version of that idea as law. You don’t think that guides/encourages later similar enactments? Again, it seems far fetched to think it didn’t have any guiding, precedential or encouraging factor. The fact that something gets made into law in a state tends to have that effect on that something…

                2. “I’ll note you’re indulging post hoc ergo propter hoc here.”

                  Nope. I’m not arguing it must have caused it because it preceded it. I’m just saying it seems reasonable that a state adopting an idea would serve as guidance, precedent and/or encouragement for efforts to enact the idea in other settings, and noting that historically that seems to have happened in many instances. Like I said I’m not sure how I would “show” it paved the way, but it simply seems reasonable to suppose Mass. adoption of the idea had some value to those seeking to promote it…

                  1. I’m just saying it seems reasonable that a state adopting an idea would serve as guidance, precedent and/or encouragement for efforts to enact the idea in other settings

                    So you’re arguing that MassCare’s existence made Obamacare’s existence more likely.

                    Which, as I pointed out before, you haven’t backed up. Restating it in a longer form with more comma separated lists does not remove the fact you’re relying on PHEPH.

                    1. I’ve backed it up with the fairly common sense notion that when a state of the union adopts a policy that beforehand had only existed in the realm of ideas it will have an effect of setting a precedent and encouraging supporters that “paves the way” for its adoption elsewhere. I don’t know what else to say about that.

                  2. Tulpa-imagine some idea you would love to become the law of the land but which was currently the law nowhere in the US. Tomorrow you wake up and a state has made it the law of the land. Would you go “Oh no, this is terrible!”? No, you’d be happy. Why is that? I’m betting it is because you know that when a state adopts a law it often (usually?) has some value for “paving the way” for adoption or support for that law in other places.

      2. “I can’t wait for a year of your shilling for Romney, Tulpa.”

        If only Romney were a policeman too…

        “Congratulations on being GOP joe.”

        GOP John?

      3. You were insufferable before. Now you’re downright repulsive.

        Projecting again, Epi?

  6. The real Romney paradox is why libertarians would support Romney over the President.

    What has Romney ever accomplished?

    By comparison the President has saved the economy and health care, toppled bin Laden, Mubarak, Gadhaffi, inspired the Arab Spring and OWS to bring democracy back into vogue all while being constantly obstructed and viciously attacked by Republican barbarians like Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

    It’s time to bring real change and Mitt Romney is just four more years of the same failed policies.

    1. By comparison the President has saved crippled the economy and health care, toppled killed bin Laden, Mubarak, Gadhaffi, inspired the Arab Spring paved the way for radical Muslim takeovers in previously secular nations and inspired ACORN to rebrand as OWS to bring democracy class warfare back into vogue

      Yeah, what’s not to like?

      1. Stop watching Fox News, research the actual facts and get over your anger at a successful black man.

        Then maybe you’ll join the rest of your fellow countrymen in understanding just how grateful we should be that we have had this President for the last three years.

        1. Nice strawman. I especially like the overalls.

        2. I like this troll. It at least is putting a little effort into its work. Its a nice parody/satire of what a hardcore Obamanaut must be thinking.

          1. I especially like the cliche “Turn off Fox!”

            1. After Fox went on a journolist-style anti-Paul jihad the last few days, I suspect this will be easy advice to follow.

              1. False premises abound!

                1. The false premise being that I watch Fox News.

                  I’m sure I read some stuff from their site, but it’s hardly my sole news source.

          2. It has the same blunt trauma styling?

            Dare to dream?

        3. Then maybe you’ll join the rest of your fellow countrymen [in indefinite detention if you’re lucky, killed without trial if you’re not] in understanding just how grateful [maimed Pakistani children from his drone war should be] we should be that we have had this President [raiding medical marijuana dispensaries despite claiming he wouldn’t] for the last three years.

          1. very good.

      2. I’m looking forward to the war with Iran.

        1. Oil and Gold should see a nice bump, which will make me happy.

        2. I’m looking forward to the war with bringing democracy to Iran.

          Put that into Washintonspeak for you.

          1. Oh, thanks.

    2. By comparison the President has

      saved the economy

      Yep. 4 years of $1T+ deficits is really going to “save the economy”.

      and health care,

      I suggest you wait until you see the bill (and the wait lists) before you count that one.

      toppled bin Laden,

      He got fed info by field agents who had been chasing OBL since 2005. Any President who hadn’t offed OBL (or captured him) would have been impeached for not acting on such info. He just happened to be present when OBL was found.

      Mubarak,

      I think the Egyptian people deserve the credit on that one.

      Gadhaffi,

      I’ll give you that one. Team Blue is big on illegal wars, isn’t it?

      inspired the Arab Spring

      He dithered until it was obvious that the Tunisians had won.

      and OWS to bring democracy back into vogue

      If you think OWS had anything to do with democracy, you are a fool. (Unless you mean it in the Greek sense of “mob rule”).

      1. You’re completely ignorant on economics.

        Our GDP was -8.9% when Obama took over. It was going much lower without Obama and Bernanke. By summer it was over 2%. The S&P has doubled since from its low of 666.

        1. Do you know how GDP is calculated?

          Do you understand that every dollar spent now must be repaid with interest at some point in the future?

          Can you comprehend how a GDP stimulated solely by deficit spending via Government is irrelevant?

          1. Technically only the interest payments on the debt need to be paid, not the principal, so long as people are willing to buy T-bills.

            But you are correct about govt spending artificially inflating GDP.

            1. so long as people are willing to buy T-bills.

              I don’t think I even need to say anything, so I’ll just leave this here.

              1. Crap, I meant treasury securities in general. So sue me, the point is the same. As long as people are willing to lend to the US govt it only needs to pay interest/discount/whatever.

          2. Do you know the costs of 25% unemployment and -17% GDP?

            Do you know the Fed poured over $5 trillion of loans into the CP market and other emergency action (including McDonalds payroll) on top of the stimulus and TARP?

            There is a reason Hank Paulson was puking every day and got on his hands and knees to Pelosi.

            $15 trillion in wealth evaporated in 2008 as it was.

            1. Do you know the costs of 25% unemployment and -17% GDP?

              Several flaws here. First is the false premise that you know these would have been the numbers. You’ve created a fantasy universe here, and as such does not warrant a response, but I’m doing you a favor and showing you how dumb you are anyways.

              Now, the costs to whom?

              Do you know the Fed poured over $5 trillion of loans into the CP market and other emergency action (including McDonalds payroll) on top of the stimulus and TARP?

              So?

              $15 trillion in wealth evaporated in 2008 as it was.

              So?

              1. We only know the amount of intervention – one can only guess at the consequences of the entire Commercial Paper market drying up without support from the Fed.

                CP is the oil of the economy. Thousands of corporations use CP for payroll. The Fed could see this because they control NACHA.

                1. one can only guess at the consequences of the entire Commercial Paper market drying up without support from the Fed.

                  Yet another false premise. And you even admit that “you can only guess.”

                  1. Here is a primer on the $2.5 trillion CP market. It is essential for modern business to operate.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_paper

                    It disappeared during the Credit Crisis (until the Fed stepped in).

        2. And you are a liar:

          The US GDP peaked at $14.4T in Q2 2008 and bottomed at $13.85 in Q2 2009. That is a drop of 3.92%. (And the spending from 2009 was from the last BUSH budget in any case.)

          http://www.data360.org/dsg.asp…..oup_Id=353

          If the economy has been “saved” how come unemployment is still 8.6%?

          1. The EU may end up collapsing over this no-big-deal economic downturn. So may we. But it’s not a problem.

        3. going much lower without Obama and Bernanke.

          Because recessions never turn into recoveries without divine intervention!

          1. Which just so happens to be me.

  7. You don’t have to be a caveman to be confused by this election cycle.

    1. But it helps.

  8. stick a fork in the Republican party. its done.

    1. The one that’s likely to win the White House and almost certain to win control of both houses of Congress?

      People say the oddest things about politics.

      Too bad that the GOP isn’t being forced to cater to a voter base more concerned with limited government and the economy, because it’ll suck again when in power, just like the last time. Maybe slightly less than the Democrats, but we’re in trouble either way.

      1. The modern GOP is a three headed beast, the extremes (SoCon and libertarian) nipping at the ears of the practical head in the middle, concerned with keeping the duopoly alive. The caucus showed that pattern again.

        1. The libertarian wing IS the practical wing. Whatever that is in the middle isnt practical, see the US economy for an example of why not.

          1. Accepted. Practical should have been “destructively pragmatist.”

            1. When your end is solely and completely based on having power in Washington, then the other factors like the state of the country, its economy, or world affairs are complete and utter irrelevancies. And I’m not being cynical–that’s the complete truth.

  9. “Top two in Iowa support renewable fuels standard!” tweeted the jubilant Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. In other words, the ethanol lobby is thrilled that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum both support forcing you to buy their ethanol. I suppose I’d be tweeting with exclamation points if the top two candidates in the Iowa caucuses wanted to force you to buy my books.

    Romney and Santorum (like Gingrich and Obama) both go 4-for-4 on the ethanol lobby’s scorecard.”

    http://campaign2012.washington…..rum/291411

    1. Another reason to sneer at the 10% ethanol sticker at the gasoline pump.

    2. Well, this kind of thing makes me less incredulous about last night’s results. Paul went in and on principle told Iowan farmers that he would cut their programs, told military folks and contractors he would cut defense, etc., while Santorum and Romney pandered every which way, and Paul still got a fourth of the vote. That’s actually the remarkable thing I guess…

      1. He got a fifth of the vote.

    1. Isn’t that always how it goes? It’s essentially Obama’s doctrine in foreign policy and a host of other matters: real change is hard so we’re just going to tinker at the margins.

  10. Priceless Ron Paul vs. CNN paranoid censorship thread.

  11. Its all about Congress folks. 535 tea partiers sending up bills would make any president a good one. Stop the spending where it originates. I dont care about who wins the pres, he’ll be hated soon enough.

  12. Taking glee in watching this stupid whore Michele’s news conference. She is blabbing about taxpayer funded abortion and the Holy Scrip.

    1. Every man should have a hobby.

    2. It worked for Santorum.

    3. “Stupid whore”?

      How positively enlightened and intellectually superior of you.

      1. Wow, I’ve been desensitized to the “stupid whore” adjective. Didn’t even notice it there. Is that a bad thing?

      2. Yes, she is a stupid whore.

        Newt is an evil whore. See the difference?

        1. And Mitt Romney is just a whore.

  13. So this year, primaries have to allocate delegates proportionally if they are held before April 1st of 2012.

    Paul stayed in the race until the convention in 2008 and says he’ll do the same this year.

    Santorum should at least be able to make it to Super Tuesday on March 6th.

    So there is a very real possibility that Romney will not be able to lock up the nomination even if he cruises through the winner-take-all primaries after April 1.

    So who will the convention nominate this summer? Do the entrenched party apparatchiks manage to swing the vote to Romney? Does the Paul campaign hold enough delegates to force the convention his way? Does Santorum win the nomination?

    It should be entertaining at least (in the same way that crush videos are entertaining I suppose).

    1. If Paul does well enough, especially in the caucuses, I could see a brokered convention going to someone more acceptable to the Paulites, like a Ryan.

      1. Newt will disembowel Willard for revenge and to help Santorum.

        This is better than an HBO mafia series.

      2. I wouldn’t be surprised if some GOP higher ups are working that angle right now, considering the state of the field.

      3. I am intrigued by the possibility that the nominee will be someone that is not actually running right now and what impact that will have on the resulting very-short campaign season for both Obama and the Republican nominee.

        1. What a head-fake that would be! Obama spends hundreds of millions preparing to run against Romney, and then in a brokered convention Romney gets demoted to VP, and [insert Repub drone here] is the nominee. Obama campaign strategy in shambles.

    2. You also have Gingrich in the mix in SC and FL.

      I have a feeling Santorum’s going to flame out pretty soon.

      Speaking of flip-flops, how in the world is Paul Ryan acceptable to Paulites? He voted for TARP, NCLB, Medicare Part D, etc (not to mention the wars).

      1. I mean, he converted to budget cutterism on 1/20/2009. He’s the epitome of a convenient conservative.

        1. I couldnt actually think of anyone else to put in that spot.

          Ryan is only marginally more acceptable than Romney/Gingrich/Santorum.

          You got a better name? Reread my post with it instead.

          1. Rand Paul, Jeff Flake

            1. Rand isnt going to be the consensus out of a brokered convention. If the Paulites could get Rand on the ballot, they could get Ron.

              Flake is a legit choice though.

              1. Rand would have been a better candidate than Ron this year. I don’t think one can seriously dispute this.

                1. Too young. He is at Obama experience level. Im not sure that 2016 isnt too soon.

                  1. Other than voting No on everything and still managing to get his earmarks passed, what experience does Ron have? He’s never run anything bigger than a House office and his campaigns have gotten woefully small bangs for their bucks.

          2. But that’s not going to happen. Romney and Gingrich are not going to give up their delegates to someone who didn’t even campaign unless it’s in return for some seriously expensive promises, of the sort Paulites would not be happy with.

            1. After the 1st/2nd/3rd ballot (depending on state) it is out of Romney’s and Gingrich’s hands.

              1. It depends exactly how brokered. If Romney controls 40% of the delegates, yeah he will be the nominee.

                If he controls 30%, maybe not.

      2. The man has hair to rival the Mittsters!

  14. All this BS that is has NOTHING TO DO with OBAMA’s RACE.

    If this country elects Mick Romney (the white obama), than what is it?

  15. [Romney’s] the most presentable of the bunch, the guy you introduce to your parents, the management consultant who can repackage conventional Republicanism (Ronald Reagan! Private enterprise! No illegals! No nukes for Iran! No apologies!) into a sufficiently palatable mush.

    Voters will be relatively satisfied with a candidate who does not seem like the type to surround himself with an ever-shrinking circle of core ideologues, someone who instead seems like he might pay attention to the prevailing winds of frustration and discord and can adjust policy accordingly. Someone who is not a one trick pony. Voters will pin their hopes of reining in domestic spending to that person.

    November you, the voter, will see Mitt Romney’s name on the Diebold machine next to Barack Obama’s and you will vote for him. You will compartmentalize Romneycare and every other big government folly attached to his name. And then for four years you will grouse that no one voted for Johnson and after four years you will satisfy yourself with the Democrat who talks vaguely about civil liberties and vote for him.

    I read you like a book, voter.

    1. We’re all Romniacs now.

    2. I need to name a corporation that builds the machines used to steal elections for an evil, all powerful syndicate. What sounds sinister enough — ‘Diebold’! Nah, nobody would find that name believable.

  16. I love Rick Santorum. There I said it. Told my Iowa people, I love Santorum. I didn’t mean that as an endorsement like the media is taking it. I meant I love Santorum. Divorce Karen, marry me in Massachusetts, Rick1

  17. I think Bachman’s voters are the only ones that Paul could pull in from GOP voters. Maybe Perrys?

    Could Paul pull off a McCain-esque strategy of getting his loyal base and enough Dems and Indies in open primary states to remain competitive?

  18. Mitt Romney, totally better looking than Matt Welch.

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