Back in this writer’s younger days as strictly a religious news journalist; politics and religion often inter-weaved their thread of thought into the topic of the day and as such my editor would give me a political assignment.
It was the early 1970’s and the political news was all about President Richard M. Nixon’s “re-election campaign” and the subsequent break in at the Democratic Headquarters in the now infamous “Watergate” building.
The religious news was all the buzz over a young Baptist preacher named Jerry Falwell and a new organization he founded to fight liberalism in the government called “The Moral Majority”.
Obviously the two topics of the day often crossed hand in hand resulting in my involvement as a political writer (as limited as it was).
My editor used to tell me with regards to politics that, “Where ever it leads, give the candidates enough time and something news worthy will occur; then give them enough distance, their weaknesses will become apparent and that is where you get your story”.
And so it is, with two more primaries now under their belts, the GOP selection, although a bit narrower is not any clearer. That’s where the story of “triumph or trouble in the GOP begins.
Is the narrowing of the real players (Romney and Santorum) triumph or trouble?
Romney came away with the majority of Illinois delegates but Santorum won the Louisiana primary hands down and it’s clear that the majority of Southern States see Santorum as the real genuine conservative of choice.
With Texas being one the Southern states yet to have its primary and one hundred fifty five delegates up for grabs, Mitt Romney does not stand to do well here.
Governor Rick Perry’s support behind Newt Gingrich, the former President George W. Bush staying pretty much out of it and the rather large Catholic and Baptist majorities very much behind Rick Santorum, it would seem Texas is simply one state which cannot be won simply with money.
With the Rio Grande Valley of Texas having the lowest per capita income in the United States and predominately made up of Democratic registered voters, over spending by a candidate in a campaign would definitely not be welcomed; most likely negating Romney’s normal negative media campaign anywhere South of Corpus Christi.
In fact, it appears that all the stops are being taken off by the GOP establishment in an attempt to help Romney at least do well in Texas; without at least a good showing, the remaining delegates could end up being controlled by the bottom 3 candidates and Romney could have a problem.
Endorsements however, continue to flow in for Romney. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, North Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, Former President George H. W. Bush, a surprise by Tea Party favorite Florida Senator Marco Rubio and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan have all endorse Romney’s candidacy. This is prior to what will probably be an all out battle by all four candidates with two months of campaigning prior to the May 29th Texas primary.
This is one state where Congressman Ron Paul stands to have a very good showing; considering this is where his home is and the district he represents in Washington.
All things considered, Mitt Romney might just be the lone man out as a result of the Texas Primary.
It might seem that with all of the Romney endorsements, that Romney is a done deal but many conservative pundits and talk show hosts disagree; stating that it is just an attempt for the elite GOP establishment to say they are standing together but it is not the establishment which appears to be in control this election.
Mean while, the Grammy winning ever popular Contemporary Christian singer, Michael W. Smith endorsed Rick Santorum as did the NFL San Diego Chargers Quarter back Philip Rivers and a lineup of NASCAR drivers too numerous to mention here. These “celebrity candidates” go allot further with the grass roots conservative voter than any of the GOP establishment elite.
As it currently stands, Romney cannot win the remaining delegates necessary to put the nomination away as long as Santorum, Gingrich and Paul stay in the race. This is the reason all the big guns have come out in support of Romney in advance of the Texas primary and the reason the two Bushes made their announcements from Texas.
So the march to Tampa goes on as the final three months of primary campaigns begin.
Then there is the matter of “triumph or trouble”.
Besides the back biting and attacking of each other by the GOP candidates, there is also the vetting by the Press.
Ron Paul continues to be seen as a kook by the media (even though most voters agree he is not), Gingrich is seen as the resident GOP “womanizer” and “venomous snake in the grass”, Santorum as the “Christian Catholic Zealot” and Romney as the “token Mormon” and “richer than God” candidate.
This past week Romney, Santorum and Gingrich were at the forefront of the presses’ determination to seek out the bad.
Questions continue to arise about whether Romney was born in the United States as questions arise over his Mexican connection and heritage. Most pundits and talk show host explain this away as mere “pay back” from the Obama birthers but nothing is completely clear here. It also appears that there is an increasing “birther conspiracy” arising on and within the GOP side for this election among the current candidates; leaving wide open a possible investigation and discovery by the legitimate and tabloid media.
Rick Santorum was seen on camera and in an open microphone, using profanity in describing a New York Times article and interview with him. Santorum seemed to think this was initiated by the Mitt Romney camp and in several Television interviews Santorum discussed it away but it is doubtful the media will.
Newt Gingrich was then attacked for charging fifty dollars per photo opportunity with the former Speaker of the House by his supporters in an attempt to raise money for his continuing dying campaign.
The result is a GOP primary campaign without any firm direction and the potential for continued trouble or the potential to triumph in the midst of media induced turmoil demonstrating their best.