Saturday, April 30, 2011

Buddy Roemer Is Running In 2012

The 2012 Republican primaries will give America a chance to see a wide variety of conservative candidates. There will candidates that many Americans already know such as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. However, there will be other candidates that America have yet to become acquainted with. 
One of those candidates is Buddy Roemer
Most people, like myself, have never heard of him. And they might barely remember him after the election is over. Which is kinda how the people of Louisiana remember him
"A former Democratic member of Congress who switched to the GOP in 1991, midway through his single term as governor, Roemer has been largely absent from politics since consecutive failed gubernatorial runs. In Louisiana circles, he is a onetime political wunderkind who is remembered more for what he might have been than what he accomplished." 
An old aide to Roemer explain that people remember him more for his eccentricities than his political career
Former Rep. Jim McCrery, an aide to Roemer when the former governor was in Congress who eventually took his seat, said most in the state have lost track of his former boss.
“Ninety-nine out of 100 people couldn’t tell you where Buddy Roemer is today,” McCrery said. “But he has a pretty good story to tell about what he’s done since being out of the public eye.”
Even when he was Governor of Louisiana, people described him as an odd politician
A New-Age Mystic: As part of a very public mid-life crisis, Gov. Roemer began wearing blue jeans and adopted the slogan, "Goodbye to me, hello to we." Here we'll quote from Charlie Trueheart's 1991 Washington Post story:
"[H]e and his erstwhile Roemeristas (so called because of the much-touted but since-wilted "Roemer revolution") have been reduced to mouthing the ridiculous platitudes of Robert Fulghum and other New Age shamans. Cook reports, "He packed himself and his staff off to motivational treats dubbed 'Adventures in Attitudes,' where they learned to banish negative thoughts by snapping a rubber band against their wrists while uttering 'Cancel, cancel.'"
Some people remember him as a key player in the 2008 West Virginia primaries in which he may have assisted John McCain in delivering that state to Mike Huckabee in order to prevent Mitt Romney from winning that state. According to Fox News,  John McCain instructed Buddy Roemer to give the McCain delegates to Mike Huckabee:
"But before Huckabee’s surprising turnaround at the convention, McCain delegates told FOX News they had been instructed by the campaign to throw their support to Huckabee.
McCain delegate John Vuolo said former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer approached him and other McCain supporters at the convention and told them he had spoken to McCain, and that the best thing to do was to support Huckabee in the hope that Huckabee could beat Romney in this winner-take-all state."
Now that he is running in 2012, what kind of candidate will he be? Well, he's a social liberal but a fiscal conservative 
Not a culture warrior: Roemer's no lefty: He supported chain gangs and presided over the execution of a mentally handicapped man who had murdered a state trooper at the age of 17. But in one of the signature showdowns of his political career, Roemer opposed his base: As governor in 1991, he vetoed a GOP proposal that would have banned all abortions, except in the case of rape or incest—and even then, abortions could only be performed in the first 13 weeks of a pregnancy, and the rape or incest victims had just five days to report the crime. The bill passed into law over his veto, but was later blocked by a federal judge. The National Right to Life Committee called Roemer's veto "a betrayal." Roemer also signed a law legalizing medicinal marijuana in Louisiana, and vetoed a bill that would have restricted the sale of profane music like 2 Live Crew. 
But he is a fiscal warrior: A "Boll Weevil" Southern Democrat in Congress, Roemer supported President Reagan's 1982 tax cuts. Faced with a $700 million deficit as governor, he proposed a dramatic overhaul of the state tax code—including increasing the sales tax (the proposal was blocked) and cutting more than $200 million in spending. After leaving politics, Roemer took a job as a CEO of a small bank, which, he takes pains to note, did not receive bailout funds.
Buddy Roemer has already laid out a vision of how he will run in 2012
His campaign theme will be “Free to Lead,” Roemer said, boasting: “I’m going to be independent from the Big Money, Wall Street money, special interest money; that’s going to be my mark in this campaign.”
And when he says he wants to be free from big money and special interest money, he means it. He has indicated that he will not accept any money from PACs, and plans to limit individual donations to $100. Buddy Roemer thinks he can raise serious cash with this approach:
And how exactly will he fund a national campaign by capping each of his donors at $100 cumulatively in an era when the sitting president may crack the $1 billion mark?
“You think I can get 4 million Americans to give me $100 each?” he asked. “That’s $400 million.”
Asked whether he thinks he can raise anywhere near that in a primary, Roemer recalled that he faced the same doubts when he imposed limits on himself in his successful 1987 gubernatorial race among an array of well-connected candidates, including incumbent Gov. Edwin Edwards and former Reps. Bob Livingston and Billy Tauzin.
However, not everyone thinks his fundraising plan will work:
"Four million donors would be a level of support similar to Barack Obama's record-breaking 2008 outreach. So he is not taking this with the seriousness with which, say, Mitt Romney is taking this. He can be a Duncan Hunter/Mike Gravel sort of candidate, an elder who thinks he should be an elder statesman, and uses chunks of televised debate time to get there."
Perhaps the biggest problem for Buddy Roemer is that he will have a hard time convincing Republicans that he's really a Republican:
"Roemer has never been elected as a Republican. He served four terms in Congress as a Democrat, then was elected governor of Louisiana as a Democrat in 1987 with only 33 percent of the vote after Edwin Edwards conceded rather than participating in a runoff. Roemer switched to the Republican Party in March of 1991, then placed third in his re-election bid that fall behind Edwards and David Duke. He then attempted a political comeback, running in 1995 for governor as a Republican – and was blown away, finishing in fourth place behind Foster, Cleo Fields and Mary Landrieu. Roemer hasn’t run for anything since. He mulled a run for the Senate in 2004 but opted not to make the race, and David Vitter went on to win that seat easily.
That fact is a fairly big strike against Roemer. In weighing the idea of nominating someone for the highest elected office in the land, the grassroots activists and precinct captains who ultimately decide caucuses and primaries are going to see fundamental importance in the concept that somebody they support is capable of winning. If you’re 0-for-2 as a Republican candidate in your own state, and ran behind Republicans in both of those two races (Duke in 1991 and Foster in 1995), they’re going to dismiss you.
It doesn’t help that Roemer came from a Democrat family (his father was Edwin Edwards’ campaign manager in 1971 and ultimately went to jail as part of the BriLab investigation), ran afoul of the state’s GOP muckety-mucks even when he switched over to the Republican Party and just last year endorsed a Democrat – his brother-in-law David Melville as it turns out – for Congress in a race against incumbent John Fleming. Roemer’s endorsement of Melville was seen as a joke, and Fleming, who is a very popular, very conservative and quite effective congressman with a bright future, won the race easily.
Buddy Roemer has very little chances of winning in 2012 because he has an unrealistic fundraising game plan and that he does not have name recognition that other 2012 candidates will have. 
In a crowded field of Republican candidates for 2012, he will probably not make it past the first few primaries before becoming a distant and faint memory in the 2012 election.

No comments:

Post a Comment