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During the news coverage of today's Republican primary I gagged at comments by John Sununu and Judd Gregg, Northern Republican Establishment stalwarts, aimed at defining Romney as an acceptable choice across the broad Republican party electorate. While a majority of Republicans will ultimately accept Romney if he is the nominee, he is as out of place with the rank and file Republican base as a Volvo in Gun Barrel City, Texas.
Matthew Dowd described the new base in the Republican party as "...about working class (especially white males) in rural and small town areas of the country." Dowd doesn't describe the prior composition of the party and there obviously are worthy discussions there but my drift is the utter gall of people like Gregg merely glossing over the Bain Capital experience as if there were no working class issues worthy of concern by Republicans. It's all about the virtues of capitalism, give or take a few disappointments.
This Eastern Establishment blaze attitude toward anyone not connected to the corporate or financial world was expressed by a guest on Bloomberg radio this morning. He described the displaced workers in the Bain film trailer as having "sob stories". I don't care what political stripe you are, that description should win the prize for the most insensitive remark of the campaign thus far.
The Republican establishment doesn't like it but Gingrich is forcing the Romney team not only to deal with Romney's Wall St. DNA, but to have some respect for the grass roots folks who have been fueling the party for the last several decades. As the new Mr. Republican, a working class sort of man, Todd Palin has endorsed Gingrich.
Romney is the last vestige of the old Mr. Republican-ism--- in the sense of the pre-Gingrich era--- and he is out of step with the rank and file that make up the Republican party today. To imagine otherwise is foolish. To tout otherwise is disingenuous and dangerous. Gingrich has hit pay dirt with his attack on Romney and the practices of Bain Capital because Romney has been trying to gloss over the tea party-ish, working class anger toward Wall St greed that is still seething in the base of the Republican party.
When Todd Palin endorsed Newt Gingrich I didn't laugh. Todd is a get r' done, win the Iron Man, pull you out of a snow bank with his Ford 250 kind of hands-on guy. I have a lot of respect for a man like him, and don't blame him for anything his wife has done. (It did strike me that Todd is why his wife is able to connect so well with the Republican base) He is the antithesis of the entitled Ivy Leaguer working at Morgan Stanley. I can tell you that Todd Palin is the guy I would like to have in the fox hole with me---not so much John Sununu, the junior.
In my opinion, Todd Palin's endorsement of Gingrich is more relevant than John McCain's endorsement of Mitt Romney because Todd Palin is the new Mr. Republican and John McCain, Judd Gregg and John Sununu are, at best, fantasists.