The Republican debate last night on MSNBC was quite friendly between the five Republican candidates. Chris Matthews and many others felt that Mitt Romney absoluted dominated the debate, which should help him shore up his recently acquired lead in at least three Florida polls. It feels great to see momentum shifting to the candidate that I believe can help the US deal with hard economic times and global competition better than anyone else in US history.
But debates, like most TV these days, are much more about entertainment than about substance. With 90 second responses it’s pretty difficult for any candidate to lay out their economic policy, or their national security plan, or anything substantive at all. The media are always looking for big fights, personal attacks, and insults, and they didn’t get much of that last night. (Although everyone was obsessing over the Mitt Romney quip about not being able to imagine Bill Clinton back in the white house with nothing to do.)
Between the mainstream media, the blogosphere, and the candidates web sites, it’s really difficult to figure out what is really going on, what positions people really have, and who really has a chance to win. The book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Television” by Neil Postman is a must-read if you want to see how the medium of television has changed politics and elections. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi forecasts that the internet will change everything, but I think it will take another election cycle or two before it really happens.
No one wants to waste their vote, but it’s really tough with all the various voices out there to make sure that your vote is cast for the best candidate and is not wasted.
I found a great web site last night that links to major articles about Romney from all over the country.
It reminds me of one of my top 5 favorite business websites, Newslinx.com, a simple chronological list of key news articles in the high tech industry that I have been using for about 7-8 years now. I like it as a starting point far better than Google News (even their business or technology sections) because whoever chooses the articles is really smart about what is important. The only thing I rely on more is my Google Reader with all of my hand picked favorite sources. But I keep going back to Newslinx.com because the editor finds a bunch of major articles that I wouldn’t otherwise see.
So anyway. After last night I’m completely convinced that Romney can win. Thompson is out and Giuliani will probably drop out if he loses Florida next Tuesday. Romney has raised more money than any other Republican candidate, plus he has personal funds from his successful business career that he can also use to compete in every state and go on to win the Republican nomination. He will be a very formidable opponent in the November election, especially if the economy continues to be the major issue. No one is more qualified than he is to create a government environment (lower taxes, less regulation, etc) that is friendly to business growth. As he said, he can rally fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, and national defense conservatives with his message of strengthening the economy, the family, and the military.
I’ve maxed out my donation for the primary election. And I would encourage everyone who cares about the country’s economic future to read all these articles about Romney and see if you agree that he is the right person for the most difficult and important job in the world, and if he has the growing momentum and support to rally the Republican party and win in November. If you think he does, as I do, please contribute to his campaign.