Mark Steyn writes (link) of his concern about the political conservative bona fides of Mitt Romney, and suggests Republican primary voters persist in looking to other more reliably conservative candidates. He has in the past expressed some enthusiasm for Michele Bachmann. I have better hopes for Romney, but cannot gainsay Steyn's worries or speculations about him, or about Newt Gingrich for that matter.
However, however, however, although I would vote for a diseased camel before the incumbent, my conversations with and sense of so-called independents convinces me that a social conservative cannot win. For some inexplicable reason, in a president many "independents" seem to fear social conservatism more than one who has brought, inter alia, a crushing debt load, accommodation and sympathy towards radical Islam, and a general hostility to Western culture.
That leaves out Bachmann and Santorum, who aren't strong candidates otherwise in my opinion. Gingrich is really a big government program guy, too impulsive, inconsistent, and flaky, and carries way too much baggage; moreover, he has massive negatives among those independents and Democrats who could be tempted to vote for Obama's opponent. Perry's bumblings disqualify him, and he as well appears to be a social conservative unclear about the proper role of government -- note his utter confusion in attempting to explain mandating the HPV vaccine viz-a-viz individual liberty issues. Paul is a small government guy, yes, but seriously unstable -- just the other day he appeared on the Tonight Show and said to a national audience that Bachmann "hates Muslims"; he's now the John McCain of 2011-2012 -- the Republican who seems to hate Republicans and is always good for a negative quote that liberals love and can use in political ads, playing right into the Democrat media strategy of encouraging lethal internecine fighting among duped and dopey Republican candidates.
Romney isn't my first choice by a long shot, but at this time there's simply no other electable candidate in this very disappointingly and surprisingly weak field.
John M Greco