Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Learning to Love Romney...
The Obamagram WHD's weekly newsletter

One of the great unexpected benefits of my job as a blogger has been that I get to hear from people like you.
Yeah, for real, I mean it. Stop snickering. I'm not sucking up to you.

I feel that, uniquely among most of the press in Washington, I have direct access to a perspective on things from people out in the rest of the country. It gives me an idea of where people are at, sometimes well before others in town are aware of it.

So I want to share with you a little about what I've been picking up about the election, and in particular Mitt Romney, whom I'm going to assume for argument's sake will be the nominee.

Please be aware, this is anecdotal and by no means universal. You may not feel this way, and you probably live outside Washington. But this is the general sense I'm getting.

There is going to be strong, enthusiastic support among conservatives for Romney. That doesn't mean conservatives are going to love him, though they will a little. But they are rapidly making their peace with him as a flawed but overall acceptable candidate who will make a good president.

Santorum, people seem to feel, has had his shot and shown some shortcomings. He seems to make a lot of people a little uneasy, even if they still support him. And I don't think anyone wants the divided convention Santorum is aiming for. They want to start uniting behind Romney now, and get the general election underway.

The other feedback I've gotten for a while, but which has only increased in intensity, is the determination among conservatives to unseat President Obama. They don't like him or Michelle personally, and they want them out of "the people's house." They abhor his policies, and think in a second term he will institute some form of socialism and continue running up the national debt to levels that will destroy the country.

I do not sense this is about race, though surely some don't like Obama because he is black. I think the intense support for Herman Cain among conservatives - and it was intense - helps show that the race card, which will be played, is not applicable.

I feel the feverish opposition to Obama exists overwhelmingly because conservatives are not just opposed to his policies, but frightened by them. And they feel he is personally presumptuous and immodest, though this is less important. Obama has made no effort to reach out, as Bill Clinton did with welfare reform and The Defense of Marriage Act. It's highly symbolic that the Obama White House had decided no longer to defend the latter in court.

So that's my take. I don't think Obama and his advisers understand this, since they have no access to people on the right. But they will hear from them.

Keith Koffler
Editor, White House Dossier