Posted by | January 21, 2011 17:24 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

I’ve blogged before about the problems that Mitt Romney will have trying to win the Republican nomination for president in 2012.  Basically, with Romneycare as the most direct ancestor of the federal health care law, he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do to Tea Party activists who oppose the law and figure to be very important in the Republican primaries.  Romney’s approach to this dilemma? Ignore the Tea Party!

As the former Massachusetts governor lays the groundwork for a possible second presidential run, he has largely shunned Tea Party activists in key primary states, including the state he must win if he enters the race, New Hampshire. Thus far, Romney is on track to present himself as the establishment candidate — a responsible, mainstream Republican leader with the necessary financial resources and credentials to beat President Obama.

I give Romney credit for gumption.  He’s not getting much of the Tea Party vote so pretending he is something he is not might be a waste of time.  But without that vote, how does he win the nomination?  Especially when Huckabee and Gingrich (and Palin if she runs) are hammering him continuously for lack of faith to conservative principles.  And then if, somehow, he gets the nomination after ignoring the Tea Party, will they give him the ground game he would need in the general election?  I wonder how long he will keep this up. My guess is that within the month he does an event declaring fealty to Tea Party principles.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.