Opinion: The Misguided "Not Mitt Romney" Movement
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 11:25 AM
It makes a lot of sense - in theory.
Republicans have wanted anyone-but-Mitt this whole election. As hope after hope for a new candidate gets dashed, many have come to accept the inevitability of a Mitt Romney candidacy. Sure, his Romneycare doesn't seem all that different from Obamacare, but he rocked the debates and he seems prepared to wage a serious ground-game to beat Barack Obama. He's everyone's 2nd or 3rd choice and usually their 1st choice isn't even in the race.
The problem becomes, however, that Not Mitt Romney can mean a lot of things. It can mean Newt Gingrich. It can mean Michelle Bachmann. It can mean Ron Paul. While it is a far out shot that one of these can win the Republican nomination it is even more unlikely that one of these people can unseat Barack Obama. And therein lies the Not Mitt problem. The only real Not Mitt option at this point is Rick Perry.
To be for Not Mitt in the Republican nomination process is to be for Rick Perry. There really isn't two ways about it. Rick Perry is the only candidate in the field with the ability to raise enough money to form a real ground game in the early states. It seems we relearn this lesson every election season but a good ground game makes or breaks a candidate.
A handful of staffers in Iowa and NH just isn't enough. Politics is about knocking on doors and getting out the vote. The second-tier candidates won't have the money or resources to do that. Even though Perry's poll numbers have slipped significantly since his entry into the race he has an aura of "serious candidate" that the others simply lack.
I don't write all this because I want Perry to be the nominee (I have been open about favoring him only slightly over Mitt Romney though not being a fan or supporter of either). My ideal nominee, since we're dreaming here, would be Not Romney, Not Perry, Not-Bachmann-Paul-Cain-Huntsman-Gingrich-Johnson.
But like the rest of Republicans I'll make do with what we get. All that really matters is that we elect Not Barack Obama.
Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.