Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Will Republicans Make Fatal Mistake of Nominating Another Thomas Dewey to Face Harry Truman Wannabe President Obama?

Gov. Thomas Dewey
I said several months ago, before the Republican primary season, that President Barack Obama would run a Harry Truman-style re-election campaign in which he rallied for the common man and against the big business and the do-nothing Congress.  I just didn't know at the time the Republicans would play along with the Obama strategy by nominating the second coming of Truman's 1948 opponent, Thomas Dewey.  Yesterday former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won a solid victory in New Hampshire's primary with 40% of the vote. His next closest challenger was Ron Paul with 23% of the vote.

Like Romney, Dewey was a governor of a northeastern state, serving as governor of New York from 1943 to 1954.  Romney was also governor of a northeastern state Massachusetts.  Dewey was an advocate for big business interests and favored an unfettered interventionist foreign policy.  Dewey was part of the more liberal establishment wing of the Republican Party.  Romney is too.  Dewey had a privileged childhood; Romney's was even more privileged. He was born a multi-millionaire.

The driving force right now in politics is economic populism.  While they have different goals, both the tea party and occupy movements are essentially populists movements that rail against the use of government to aid big business.  If the Republicans proceed to nominate Mitt Romney, which is growing more likely, the tea party populist energy of the party goes out the door as well as the newly energized, Ron Paul-led libertarian wing of the GOP.

A Romney nomination gives Obama the opportunity to run a non-holds barred populist campaign, reminiscent of the then unpopular Truman's 1948 whistle-stop campaign against Dewey.  Romney's time at Bain Capital, in which he worked to reorganize companies by laying off working men and women, might be intellectually defensible from a macro-economic standpoint.  But in the world of politics, it is easily exploitable.

The polls showing Romney the "most electable" against Obama are a mirage.  Nominating Romney, a card carrying member of the so-called 1% in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, is like feeding fresh meat to a lion.  Truman, er President Obama, will rip Romney to shreds.

If the GOP does nominate Romney, there will be one stark difference between the the 1948 and 2012 presidential elections.  The result.  The Truman-Dewey contest was close.  An Obama-Romney race will be a landslide for the President.

See Advance Indiana's excellent take on this issue posted today:  "Will The American People Elect Gordon Gekko President?"


Nicolas Martin said...

A recent CBS poll tells an important tale:

"If a Paul-Obama showdown were ever to take place, 47% of independent voters would vote for Paul, 81% republicans and 10% Democrats for a total of 45% of the vote. Obama would get just 40% of the independent vote in that contest, with 85% of the Democrats choosing Obama and 9% of Republicans choosing the President on election day in November. Obama would win the general election by a narrow one point margin if the election was held today between the two."

Ron Paul's support among independents and Democrats suggest that he can reincarnate the Reagan coalition.

Cato said...

The Tea Party is, in now way, populist. It's a pro-Israel, pro-war, pro-police, anti-freedom, pro-religion-in-government, pro-capitalist movement. They're the FoxNews lapdogs.

Cato said...

So far, Obama has scaled down the wars and has been resistant to declare war on Iran, despite the persistent pressure of neocons.

Were Romney elected, I can only imagine of what sort of anti-consumerist legislation he'd be eager to pass.

Obama is probably preferable to Romney.

Paul K. Ogden said...


You're extrapolating the views of some in the Tea Party as being representative of all of the Tea Party. By the way, I think you're way off base if you think the Tea Party supports a decision like Barnes v. State. That is exactly the type of thing that gets them riled up.

At the core of the Tea Party is an economic populist movemenet.

Nicolas Martin said...

Interesting note. According to Cato Institute's David Boaz, Ron Paul did better in the New Hampshire primary than any other member of the House of Representative has ever done.

varangianguard said...

And, who says "history never repeats itself"?

patriot paul said...

Mitt Romney won a large chunk of the New Hampshire primary vote. 21% of Democrats claim they have left the Democrat Party and declared themselves as independents. I believe unless someone else steps up, Romney will be the nominee. The tea party at large isn't thrilled about any of these candidates, and according to the polls, Americans in general aren't either. The entire election will come down to anti-Obama votes.

patriot paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BayernFan said...

Dewey was a very famous gangbusting NYC Prosecutor and a wildly successful and popular governer of New York (for 12 years cutting taxes every year). He would have beat FDR in 1944 had the war ended sooner.

His problem in 1948 wasnt because he was a bad candidate or stopped campaigning. He could have and should have attacked Truman, but didnt because he didnt like to campaign that way. He also lost the farm vote.... he probably should have selected Charlie Halleck as VP.

But I dont think you have to worry about Romney not attacking Obama. he is gonna punch Barry in the mouth and kick him in the ass.

Frankly, Mitt is the only grownup in the race.... in either party.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Perhaps, but when you come to the fight with the incredible political baggage Romney has, it won't be much to take him down. Please excuse the mixed metaphors.

BayernFan said...

Obama will war with Iran in order to get himself re-elected.

BayernFan said...

I dont see a whole lot of baggage, Paul. He is the quintessential executive type that often wins when the GOP nominates one.

He isnt wild eyed or cranky (Goldwater, Dole, McCain). Indies and more importantly independent suburban women will go for him.

He is obviously comfortable in a boardroom, knows how to rub two nickels together, and can do the job.

People dont want an OWS type candidate. Class warfare isnt working.

Romney will be fine.... you'll see.

Nicolas Martin said...

Romney won just 39 percent of the vote in his own political backyard. That is pathetic.

Jeff Cox said...

And yet, Romney won more than Ron Paul. Which is comforting. Not comforting is that Paul got second place. That Paul is even in the primary is an indictment of today's GOP. He has no business in the party and should be kicked out.

Make no mistake. If the GOP nominates Paul, we are in for another 4 years of Obama, which, when copmpared to Paul, ain't all that bad. If you think Romney has a lot of baggage, Paul and his racist, anti-Semite, anti-American statements are virtual cargo containers. Those same Dems coming in to the primaries to vote for Paul to spoil the GOP nomination will turn on him in the general. And, frankly, a lot of Republicans out there will support Obama over Paul.

Cato said...

Ron Paul is the only candidate who stands for all those small-government, pro-freedom ideas the Republicans spent the 80's and 90's telling everyone they stood for.

When a Republican came along and actually ran on those ideas and promised to implement them the core Republicans turned on him, revealing that they're just a party of Nazis and tyrants who love more government than the Democrats, but also prefer a nasty and violent form of implementing government.

An ideal candidate to Cox represents Hell on Earth for many people, almost indistinguishable from the depths of the nasty regimes of Cambodia and North Korea.

Paul has shown that the Republican Party is broken. In fact, Paul may have irreparably broken it. The Party's treatment of Paul and his supporters will create a bitterness that will impact Republican candidates, for years.

Your choice is simple, Republicans: Paul or Obama. If you don't give us Paul, we're going to ensure you get Obama. And we want to see you choose Paul with a smile on your face.