Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have debated one another from the heart land to the Atlantic shore. We have come to know a couple of things since they started their debates.
Each time they debate each fellow loses points in his approval rating. After the second debate in Florida, 4% of voters said they had a less favorable view of Newt and 3% had a less favorable opinion of Mitt. That is correct, dear reader. Each candidate would have been better served to stay home.
Make no mistake. These are two guys who are just pretty much unlikable and, thus, enelectable in the general contest coming in the autumn of 2012. That is this year for those whose google calendars failed to sync up.
The second thing we have learned from the Romney-Gingrich Debates is this is not exactly Lincoln-Douglas. Please take some time and read the transcripts from that day when oratorical giants trod the land. Yes, Douglas was dimunitive and frail. He probably killed himself criss-crossing the nation after the 1860 election trying to hold together the Union.
Mr. Lincoln was a yokel. His Cooper Union speech was first greeted with derisive laughter when he intoned, in his high pitched country voice, "Mr. Cheerman…" but ended with awestruck reporters almost unable to record his unassailable reasoning.
In their place, we have Mr. Romney, who cannot remember if he is actually rich, let alone how he got that way, he being a man of the middle and all. He does not care about the bottom 4% or the top 1%, which still leaves 95% of us to feel the Mitt of human kindness, falling, gently, as a rain, from the Cayman Islands.
And his opponent is Mr. Gingrich, who…who…who…, well, my goodness. He is aghast, appalled, appalled I say, that anyone would use debate time to ask him about his personal baggage, or the terrible things he says about his opponents, a group made up largely of his ex-wives and their booking agents.
This is not an inconsiderable group.
So, we trudge on, to the inevitability of an Obama second term. Incumbents lose if the economy craters during their first term, vis a vis Hoover, Carter and Bush I. A coming recovery will not save the incumbent, as we learn from Mr. Bush I.
A coming economic debacle will not necessarily cause an incumbent to lose, vis a vis, Nixon and Bush II. LBJ drove himself from office over the Viet Nam war and RFK, whom he both hated and feared. LBJ might have lost, anyway, but those were extraordinary times, with an ominous threat from Asia, foreign adventurism by American politicians in out of the way nations where American interests were barely discernible and the needs at home were so great and our foreign allies ran away from us because they found our adventurism so odious.
Wait a minute. This sounds like 2012.
Ergo, the winner in the autumn might be someone who can show us how to moderate our difference abroad and modernize our economy/workforce. Mr. Obama is headed that way. Messrs. Romney and Gingrich are running so hard toward the GOP base they seem to put themselves on the very cusp of the Industrial Age.
And the more we hear from them, the less we like them.
Opinions here are mine alone.