The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Romney: the moderate pick for Republicans


Early 2011 can only mean one thing: it’s time to start thinking about our next president.

Whether it makes sense or not, this is the time when talk about presidential hopefuls starts up. Barrack Obama will be running again, but Republican hopefuls have yet to put their name in the hat.

That being said, it’s not hard to figure out who will be competing for the Republican nomination. Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee are all expected to run, along with many more.

But none of those names are the one I hope to see on the ballot facing off against Obama next year. My favorite Republican presidential hopeful is former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.

Romney also ran for the Republican nomination in 2008. Even back then, he was the Republican with whom I found myself most impressed. Even when I disagree with him, he has come across as rational and reasonable.

Romney is also probably the most moderate of the contenders. He takes a states’ rights standpoint on a lot of issues, meaning that rather than imposing his own views, Romney is moderate enough to allow states to make their own decisions.

Romney comes across as a moderate most notably in his healthcare reform in Massachusetts, which is similar to Obama’s healthcare overhaul. In addition to mandating that most citizens have health insurance, the reform includes free insurance for those making less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and provides partial subsidies for those making less than 300 percent of the FPL.

For a liberal like me, that paints Romney as a sympathetic moderate. For a Republican Party that is going further and further right, though, that seems to be painting Romney as a liberal who is out of touch with America.

There lies Romney’s dilemma. Currently, he more or less seems to be the frontrunner for the Republican Party. This frontrunner status is threatened by the Far Right’s perception of him. To handle this, Romney has begun pandering to that end of the party, and backing off of some of his more moderate stances.

This is a mistake. The Far Right will not be deciding the next Republican presidential nominee; moderate conservatives will. So many different potential candidates will be battling for the Far Right, and they’ll each only be able to win a fraction of it. This will divide the Far Right, while moderate Republicans will remain a more unified whole, giving winning support to the most appealing candidate.

That candidate can make a good appeal as a nominee in the general election. Romney should not be backing away from his more moderate leanings, as they are exactly what can give him the edge to beat Obama.

Right now he is the more moderate choice, and he has the added bonus of being able to distance himself from the current House of Representatives, which has been pursuing radical legislation with no hope of making it through Senate or past Obama’s veto. These actions will cost the Republicans in the next election.

If Romney continues to pander to the radical wing of his party, he risks becoming another Far Right candidate among many. If Romney still manages to win the nomination, he will lose his main appeal to moderate voters in the general election.

Romney needs to embrace his moderate leanings rather than deny them. If he does this, I’ll still probably be voting for Obama, but I’ll feel much more comfortable if Romney wins.

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