ith Mitch Daniels having taken himself out of the GOP nomination battle, the field has come into sharp focus, and the view is not good for President Obama and the Democrats.
If one were only to read commentary and analysis from the mainstream media, this would surely come as quite a shock, as the GOP field is usually portrayed as uninspiring and lackluster. But then again the MSM is often behind the curve when it comes to the Republican party, seeing as how most journalists and pundits do not identify with it or the modern conservative movement that animates it. Most are politically aligned with Obama, and so unsurprisingly they think his would-be Republican challengers are second-raters.
My position over the last three months has been that Republicans need to evaluate each contender along three key metrics: general election competitiveness, legislative skill, and party stewardship. Conservatives who are worried about the field are almost entirely concerned about the party stewardship metric — the notion that the main contenders would do a relatively poor job of promoting the party’s core values once in office. I think conservatives have legitimate concerns about the field, although it’s also worth waiting to see whether the main contenders can address this issue to the right’s satisfaction.
Today, I want to look at things strictly from the competitiveness metric, and here I think the main contenders — Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney — all score very, very well. I see four reasons for drawing this conclusion.