Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Three high-minded reasons I want Romney to win

It's been hard to get too excited by elections over the pond this time round. Obama really did turn out to be just another politician with a nice line in speeches, Mitt Romney is still just a younger Bob Dole with two arms. It's a miracle to me how anyone over in the UK can give a tuppeny damn about the outcome of this. And yet they do, Lord how they do. So I agree with Harry Cole in that the best reason to want a Romney win is to luxuriate in the lamentations from the losing left. Schadenfreude that would be all the sweeter for being safer - I don't care enough to be hurt by an Obama victory.

In any event, as Iain Martin says, it really has been a dispiriting election. Deprived of the chance of running on his record, thanks to how dismal that record is, Obama has been running since Spring on the basis that Mitt Romney is a hard-right monster with the blood of a thousand unemployed workers on his hands. A bullshitter who wants to undo civil rights legislation. It's a testament both to the strengths and limitations of negative advertising that the first debate (where Romney showed up and wasn't transparently stupid and/or evil) should have had such a powerful effect on the race - the public had largely bought Obama's negative pitch, until they actually saw Romney in person.

Romney's not been much better - his ads are misleading, his tax plans half-baked, his rhetoric generally underwhelming. It's all just a bit...flat.

Into the gap (perhaps widening that gap) has stepped polling. I've never seen a race where the issues and personalities have been so completely outgunned by statistical modelling. It's as though all questions of who ought to win have been deemed old hat: the only thing that matters is who is currently ahead in whatever the latest poll is out of Bumfuck, Indiana. That's slightly depressing, and my second reason to want a Romney win is that it might dent the reputations of the pollsters and the modellers and make for a more interesting election next time round.

As for the UK politics angle - no-one likes Romney, the Republicans are weird, Obama is still cool, the Democrats advocate higher spending, and they're incumbents during a tough economic climate. Everyone here wants Obama to win. I guess that has to do as my third reason for wanting Romney to win. I have to admit that I don't expect him to though.


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