That is the question Megan Kelly asked at the close of her America Live program focused on the departure from the Presidential race by former Senator Rick Santorum. For all who have followed the Republican Presidential Campaign it is indeed the question for Mitt Romney, the Republican Establishment, the Tea Party, conservative Independents and Catholics, and especially, Evangelical Christians. We will know the answer to that on November 7th, the day after Americans VOTE.
Here are the obstacles Mitt Romney and the Republican Establishment must overcome:
- The perception by millions that Mitt Romney is a wealthy, silver spoon Northeastern liberal who is out of touch with the average American
- The perception by millions that Mitt Romney is the stereotypical corporate Republican who will take care of the wealthy before anyone else
- The perception by millions that his personal wealth and support by wealthy Republicans was used indiscriminatly to ‘carpet bomb’ his opponents into submission with negative ads, in order to win
- His total disdain for Ronald Reagan’s commitment not to speak evil of a fellow Republican
- His approval of a ‘scorched earth’ approach to campaigning against fellow Republicans
- The sickening feeling in the pit of the stomach of conservatives that no matter who runs for office, money trumps character, love of country, and a passionate desire to serve
- The disbelief amongst conservative Republicans that Romney is a committed conservative who can be counted on to hold firm on conservative social issues
As if these were not enough in themselves, many, many Evangelicals, the largest voting block in the nation, will find it very difficult to Vote for a person whose religious beliefs run counter to their own, deeply held convictions.
Factor in that Evangelicals and conservatives have long suffered the ‘usem and abusem’ manipulation of social conservatives by party leaders and you have a political party teetering on the brink of complete mistrust, malfunction, and failure. So how is this going to be any different than in 2006 and 2008?