Already setting the tone for 2012, back in February Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw poll for the third consecutive time. He received 20 percent of the votes followed by Governor Jindal with 14 percent. This certainly lends a high degree of interest in Romney's staying power among Republicans after losing out to McCain. Obviously, he does have a lot going for him. For example, he always makes the best of his opportunity by always looking sharp and sounding smart while on camera. He is an expert on the economy and private sector initiatives and sounds reassuring when discussing such matters. In fact he seems to relish in the opportunity to talk about it.
The conservatives that participated in CPAC's straw poll last month said that they were primarily concerned with limiting the scope of government. Seventy-four percent of straw poll participants said they want to limit the size of government, 15 percent said they are concerned with promoting traditional values, and 10 percent said they are concerned with security regardless of the cost.
Those are bread and butter issues for conservatives and most Republicans. Independents also share in parts of these desires but do so on a singularly issue basis as opposed to supporting all of them. If President Obama continues on the path that many say will definitely peak the outrage of those in support of these ideas, there may be a renewed urgency to reverse course and go with something different but as believable in 2012. President Obama has already lost most of the support from independents who supported him during the election according to Dick Morris.
So the question is, will Mitt Romney be the force of the GOP in 2012? He seems to be in prime position better than anyone else and enjoys overall approval from enough Republicans to build upon. While Romney himself is picking up the pace in travel and hiring staff and looks to be getting ready for the campaign season during the midterms in 2010, and of course, for his own campaign in 2012.
At this point, he may not have a rival and I have a strong feeling that Republicans and conservatives will have a much stronger sense of urgency in getting behind a nominee who can win. And right now, Romney looks like he can deliver.
Here is former Governor Mitt Romney on Larry King Live. Notably, he said that President Obama is learning on the fly and should focus more on presidential things. Another thought that more Americans are starting to agree with.
Larry King: Some are seeing a problem with the president doing the "Tonight Show," the first sitting president ever to do a late-evening [talk] show. Do you have a problem with it?
Mitt Romney: Well, this probably isn't the right time for it. I line up with Warren Buffett on this. I prefer to see the president focusing all of his time and energy on the economy.
King: That's what he was talking about.
Romney: He is talking about it. He's out doing a rally in California. He's posing for the cover of magazines and doing a number of things. He's putting together a health care plan, putting together a cap and trade program, a lot of things on the agenda.
And frankly, if you're doing too many things, a couple of important things can slip by. And one of them that slipped by was the AIG legislation that allowed AIG executives to get these bonuses. It was put in a specific bill.
King: Are you as angered over this AIG thing as probably 90 percent of the public?
Romney: Yes, my view is that this is really the fault of two parties. One, the members of our government that weren't paying attention, at best. That's the most favorable way to characterize it. ...
The other, of course, is the folks at AIG. And you ask yourself, why couldn't they have done what other enterprises do that get in trouble, which is people come together; they talk about the sacrifice they are going to make to try and keep the enterprise going. But these guys seemed not to be willing to do that. ...
This is a president who is learning on the fly. He's never turned anything around before. He hasn't had the experience of leading a nation or a business or a state in trouble. And the first rule I can tell him is focus, focus, focus.
King: How do you account for the fact that his popularity stays high?
Romney: I know that people recognize that this is a man who is a decent fellow. He's intelligent. He's well-intentioned. He's just not experienced in the matters that we're dealing with right now.