Observing this year’s republican primaries is a considerable pleasure for a democrat. Three first primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina appointed three different winners. The first one, Rick Santorum has very slim chances for the election. He is a classic extreme conservatist, whose main selling point would be his great devotion to religion and his most recognized political idea the comparison of homosexuals to zoophiles. It is too popular a notion, to even consider it for a much longer.
However, the two other figures of the run, namely two older, white guys, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, deserve much closer attention. Those men are two reliable options for an American republican in 2012. In the times of raging economic crisis it is a pretty pleasing fact, the one surely appreciated by Obama’s campaign team.
Romney, who has almost had his nomination within a reach until he lost shamefully in Southern Carolina with Gringrich, is the founder and a shareholder of a company that counsels other companies in the area of rationalization and restructuring expenses. In the times of the current crisis, this profile of activity ought to be translated into colloquial language: he advices your boss to fire you.
Gringrich, on the other hand, is a lobbyist who took almost 2 mln dollars from Freddie Mac, semi-public moneylender company, which by generously giving credits to the real estate merchants of the famous NINJA category, had a large contribution to the current economic crisis.
In other words, republicans have a following choice. They either vote for a guy representing those, who earned lots of money in time when others lost jobs and homes, or for a guy who made a fortune on “counseling” people, who caused the crisis how to make stupid decisions. That is how it looks in an electoral nutshell. Additionally, Gringrich, “a traditional conservatist”, is a man who cheated on his first wife with the second one, and then, to be completely just with the second wife, cheated on her with the third. In fact, he left his wife because she fell ill with a cancer and lost some of her apparent attractiveness. I don’t know which wife was that, it is rather hard to follow his love conquests. And I also don’t want to be a prude, who demands that a politician should be always faithful, but leaving a cancer-fighting wife is – let’s be frank – bastardly.
All in all, it would seem that in this particular company, Romney is the best and the most sensible candidate, who doesn’t evoke any connotations with wretchedness and stupidity. It would also seem that he should score an epic win and throw an electoral gauntlet to President Obama. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be that way. In the couloirs of the last September’s the European Forum For New Ideas (EFNI) in Sopot, I had an opportunity to discuss Romney’s chances with prof. Benjamin Barber. He warned me against hasty presumptions of Romney’s victory. I thought then, that it is a famous professor, who is wrong this time. Mostly, because just a few days earlier everything seemed to support an easy success of ex-governor of Massachusetts. In the meantime, we had an obvious twist of action: Republican Party in Iowa announced its mistake and proclaimed Santorum a post factum winner. In Carolina, on the other hand, Romney squandered his large predominance. Polls gave him an advantage of 10 percentage points. The same 10 p.p. he lost by with Gringrich. It means that Gringrich gained nearly 25 p.p.! Barber emphasized that Romney’s Mormonism might become a problem, even in a strongly conservatist southern states. While in New Hampshire’s republican community dominates a libertarian electorate, predominantly focused on a liberal economic policy (which community, as befits normal people, does not care about politician’s views on God and religion), in South Carolina the majority of the body of voters constitutes of the fundamental and ultraconservative fundamentalists, who do not recognize Mormons as Christians, do not trust them and what is more – consider them a dangerous sect.
The prolonging fight, the victory of Gringrich especially, will be a phenomenal information for President Obama. The answer to the question of his chances for re-election sounds, as for today, “Yes, he can!” And even though for the last two years everyone frequently repeated how difficult would be for Obama to win again in 2012, they must have been pleased to see Republican’s candidates.
Translation: Magdalena Bożek