The Republican Presidental Race

I’m not a political junkie, but I do listen to National Public Radio’s news shows.  And I’m blessed (cursed?) with a memory.  I’m mystified when last year’s predictions aren’t even mentioned – especially when they don’t pan out.

Mysteries of the Republican Candidates

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 26:  Republican pre...
JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 26: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) place their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem at the start of a debate sponsored by CNN, the Republican Party of Florida and the Hispanic Leadership Network at the University North Florida on January 26, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. The debate is the last one before the Florida primaries January 31st. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
  1. Rick Santorum‘s campaign was described as disorganized and underfunded when he surprised everyone with his strong showing in Iowa.  Two months later, the press still criticizes his lack of organization. Why hasn’t someone managed to build him a campaign organization after more than two months as a leader?
  2. Mitt Romney, in contrast, is praised for having an unbeatable campaign machine. With supporters on the ground in every county and money to outspend Santorum in every race, he seems stuck at only moderate support.  Is there a ceiling to what organization and money can achieve? Has he hit it?
  3. Newt Gingrich gets 84% of his funding – in his superPAC – from one donor:  Sheldon Adelson, who values Gingrich’s support for Israel. If Gingrich gets the nomination, would he be utterly beholden to Adelson? Is he a candidate for the Party or the donor?
  4. Ron Paul puzzles me. Does he really want to be president? It sometimes looks like he’s hijacked the presidential primary apparatus for a marketing campaign – spending a year of his life and a lot of money to place his ideology in front of every voter in the nation.
  5. Does Tim Pawlenty wish he’d stayed in the race longer?

A bigger mystery:  how does the Republican Party plan to build any kind of a campaign on such shaky foundations?

And a final mystery:  Have the Supreme Court justices whose decision opened the door to the massive spending for campaigns via SuperPACs begun to regret that decision yet?

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