Mitt Is Bush 41

I keep reading comparisons between Mitt and Bob Dole.  Historically, that makes sense because Dole ran in 1996 against an incumbent Dem, Bill Clinton, who had suffered major losses in the preceding congressional races of 1994.

But I think personality-wise, Mitt is more like Bush 41 and comes with his out-of-touch, rich guy, patrician liabilities.  Bush won in 1988 because the country wanted a third Reagan term.  When he ran in 1992, no longer wrapped in the Reagan mantle, voters didn’t like him.

Bush was distrusted by conservatives in his second run because he’d broken his “Read my lips, no new taxes” pledge.  Mitt suffers from that same mistrust because of his flip-flops and prior support for abortion and gay rights when he ran in Massachusetts.  He’s also the father of the individual health care mandate that conservatives used to support, but now believe is unconstitutional.

Less ideological voters turned against Bush in 1992 because his preppie persona contrasted poorly with Clinton’s warmth and folkiness.  The tax thing didn’t bother them as much as Bush himself did.

My theory of presidential elections is that the less preppie-seeming guy always wins.

Both Mitt and President Obama went to very fancy prep schools (the President got a scholarship), but Mitt has led a much more privileged, sheltered life, and it shows.  He can’t manage to sound convincing when he proclaims his concern for the middle class.  He’s never spent a day of his life as an actual member of the middle class.

What happens when two preppies run against each other?  Al Gore and Bush 43 both went to very elite prep schools.  But Bush managed to come across as more down-home Texas than high-flown Andover.

The less preppie guy wins — Obama beats Mitt.

Bob Dole (Remember Him?) Joins the Newt Pile On

Bob “Yes, he’s still alive” Dole, 1996 GOP presidential nominee and current Mitt supporter, has written an “open letter” to conservatives blasting Newt.  Dole was a Senator from Kansas when Newt was Speaker of the House.  Here are some tasty morsels:

“In 1997 a number of House members wanted to throw him out as Speaker.  But he hung on until after the 1998 elections when the writing was on the wall.  His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999.

If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices.  Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself.  He was a one-man band who rarely took advice.  It was his way or the highway.

Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall.  He loved picking a fight with Bill Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press.  This and a myriad of other specifics helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.

“In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad.  He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year.”  Emphasis added.

Um, Bob, I know Newt didn’t help, but you were going to lose anyway.  You were a disaster as a nominee, although you might well be eclipsed by this year’s choice.