The current buffet of Republican candidates could hardly be less appetizing. According to the Miami Herald, America has two options in the current GOP nominating process: Mitt Romney or Not Mitt Romney. In other words, any candidate that has held front runner status – besides Romney – has been quickly relegated to the back of the pack. Parodoxically,Herman Cain, who won the Republican straw poll in Florida, was ripped in the last debate by all the candidates for his 9-9-9 plan. Even “brother” Perry couldn’t help but offer to “bump plans” with him. Still, he has maintained his position near the top of the field. The Western Republican Leadership Conference straw poll saw him edging out Mitt Romney. It’s not so much that people love Cain as it is that the other candidates just aren’t that appealing.
Try as I might, I can’t see him being the GOP candidate. That he’s garnered so much popularity and success with his dark horse status is indicative of the overall discontent that the Americans have displayed toward a potential Obama replacement.
And then there’s Mitt Romney.
He hasn’t been able to generate the enthusiasm to energize the field, but he’s as close as we can come to a generic, bland, Republican candidate.
If Mitt Romney, already the de facto choice for Republican connoisseurs does secure the nomination, he’ll have the advantage of already being thoroughly vetted. Additionally, he can probably win the a portion of the independents. On the other hand, Obama’s political machinery likely has ads already produced and ready to run in case Romney won the candidacy four years ago.
The big question is not whether Mitt Romney will be palatable to the Republican party. Republicans, it seems, would rather have bland if the alternative is not eating. The big question is whether, despite Romney’s blandness, he will have the Mitt-mentum to carry him into the Oval Office.