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Financial Times Deutschland, Germany

U.S. Republicans Have to Expunge the 'Radicalism' and Choose Mitt Romney


"Romney is certainly no dream candidate. He has changed his positions as often as his ties. But at least one thing is clear: The man has a head on his shoulders. He has proven himself as governor of Massachusetts as well as in the private sector - and he's much too sober and analytical to succumb to radicalism. If Republicans stick to their radicalism, they have no chance in the election. … In the end the voters want a builder, not a destroyer."


By Sabine Muscat


Translated By Jonathan Lobsien


January 2, 2012


Germany - Financial Times Deutschland - Original Article (German)

Former Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney: Is his lack of charisma an assett in a party filled with outsized - and some would say radical - personlities?

MITT ROMNEY CAMPAIN AD: Romney cut Gingrich down in Iowa with attack ads like this one, linking Newt Gingrich to Nancy Pelosi, Dec. 2011-Jan. 2012, 00:00:50RealVideo

U.S. Republicans have good reason to charge into this presidential election year with renewed zeal. Despite all the stimulus spending, unemployment remains stubbornly over eight percent, the housing market continues to suffer, and the economy remains weak. At the same time, a massive black hole has appeared in household budgets, and the debts are piling up. In the 2010 congressional elections, the opposition sent the Democrats a clear warning.


One could argue that President Barack Obama will prove to be his own undoing in 2012, no matter who his opponent is.


The Republicans are openly suggesting this - courage has turned to hubris. The result: They have managed to make themselves even more unpopular than Obama. Their presidential candidates continuously up on one another with right-wing populist rhetoric. Given their bizarre field of candidates, many moderate voters have likely already turned away in horror.


Even in the Congress, the party has squandered any goodwill. Many Representatives have misconstrued the protest vote in 2010 as a mandate for radical opposition, à la the Tea Party movement - with the result that Obama's poll numbers hit an updraft at the end of the year. For the Republicans, it was a wasted year.


There is still hope for the party in November, as long as it returns as quickly as possible to reason and moderation. For the primaries which begin January 3, that means that party members have to hurry up and choose Mitt Romney, putting an end to their current phase of right-wing defiance.


Romney is certainly no dream candidate. He has changed his positions as often as his ties. But at least one thing is clear: The man has a head on his shoulders. He has proven himself as governor of Massachusetts as well as in the private sector - and he's much too sober and analytical to succumb to radicalism.


Charisma is something else Romney lacks. But perhaps it's better that way for his party. Because colorful characters with outsized egos and little experience - from media mogul Donald Trump, who considered a candidacy in early summer, to former pizza entrepreneur Herman Cain, who shone in the polls during the fall - have put the party in a bad light. The same can be said for Ron Paul, who is channeling the anger of the Tea Party movement in Iowa. Paul wants to abolish several cabinet-level agencies as well as the Federal Reserve, and he wants to terminate American membership in international organizations. But in the end the voters want a builder, not a destroyer.


Part 2: A Decisive Year for America's Conservatives


When it comes to anger, it's always the same. At some point it all burns itself out. Eventually the economy will recover, the people will grow tired of demonstrating and they will return to their everyday lives. The Tea Party movement has played an important role. They have rung the alarm and outlined the problem, demanding to know what high deficits and debt would portend for future generations in America. They held a mirror up to both parties. What the country needs now are experts who can run through the possible solutions - and politicians capable of building majorities.


Many have already gotten the message. Take for example the so-called "Gang of Six" - three Republicans and three Democrats who sought a bipartisan solution to the budget dispute in the Senate. But these voices get drowned out by the shouts of fringe fundamentalists on the right and the left. In particular, stubborn Tea Party representatives who arrived in Congress in 2010 have failed in their march through the U.S. institutional muck. Amid their blind, fundamentalist opposition, they forgot that the very same Founding Fathers that they so often invoke had to compromise.


Romney is often accused of being a management consultant type with no convictions. That could be a boon for the Republicans, as long as they don't drive him into a right-wing corner he can't escape. The longer the primary campaign lasts, the greater the danger. On the other hand, the sooner the real campaign begins, the sooner Romney can debate Obama on the proper relationship between the state and the economy, how much military spending the country can afford, and how the United States can secure its future economic and scientific competitiveness.




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Le Quotidien d’Oran, Algeria: Gingrich's 'Fervent' Wish: A 'Final Solution' for Palestinians
Liberation, France: Democracy Crippled: Economics Replaces Separation of Powers

Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia: Putin is Better than Goldman Sachs
Der Standard, Austria: Britain Acts as America's 'Trojan Horse' in Europe
Liberation, France: Democracy Crippled: Economics Replaces Separation of Powers

Semana, Colombia: Indignation Spreads, but Lack of Clarity Dogs 'Occupy'

Le Quotidien d’Oran, Algeria: Goldman Sachs and 'Human Sacrifice' to Money Gods

El Pais, Spain: Occupy Wall Street: Will it Help or Hinder Reelection of Obama?
Wochenzeitung, Switzerland: Swiss Occupy Movement Too Respectful of Authority

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: 'Occupy' is the 'Mega-Event of the Century'
Mainichi Shimbun?, Japan: 'Occupy Wall Street' Threatens to Divide American Society

Kayhan, Iran: Wall Street Uprisings Herald Victory of Islam and Iran!
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: Like Americans, Germans Must Stand Up at Last!

La Jornada, Mexico: Jobs' Career Showed How Capitalism was Meant to Work
Die Welt, Germany: Wall Street Occupied by Tea Party of 'Generation-Twitter'

Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy: How Finance Sector Greed Tramples on Human Rights
FTD, Germany: America's Economic Crash Had Little to do with September 11
Estadao, Brazil: To Shorten Crisis, U.S., E.U. Should Look to Latin America
Frankfurter Rundschau: Obama's Middle Road is Fatal
La Jornada, Mexico: The 'Grand Debt' of U.S. Families
Jornal Do Brasil, Brazil: American Default and the End of 'Zero Risk'
The Telegraph, U.K.: World Needs America to Come to its Senses
El Pais, Spain: Playing Chicken is the World's Newest Sport
Mainichi Shimbun, Japan: U.S. Must Prevent Another 'Made in U.S.' Disaster
Yomiori Shimbun, Japan: U.S. Lawmakers Should 'Stop Playing Political Games'
Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: The U.S. and Soviets: Pyramid Builders to Raiders
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: 'Radical' Republicans Threaten U.S. with Ruin
Tiscali Notizie, Italy: The Fiscal Decline of the 'Apocalypse'
News, Switzerland: Notion: 'Pay Politicians Based on Performance'
Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: Debt Ceiling Attack By Republicans 'Backfires'
Gazeta, Russia: America's Astonishing 'Battle for the Ceiling'
People's Daily, China: U.S. Game of Chicken Threatens Creditors and Economy
Die Zeit, Germany: U.S. Risks 'Plunging World' Into New Financial Crisis
O Globo, Brazil: Global Economy Hangs on 'Mood' of U.S. Voters
The Telegraph, U.K.: Down on the Fourth of July: The United States of Gloom
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: For Americans, a Dour Independence Day
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: Who Cares about the U.S. Economy?
Folha, Brazil: U.S. Conservatives Threaten to Plunge U.S. into 'Lost Decade'


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That could be an interesting debate between two highly educated and intelligent adversaries. Whether that will help Republicans to victory remains to be seen. Because in the end it may turn out that the ideological divide between the two candidates is not as deep as some hard-liners like to think. But Republicans must run that risk if they want to be taken seriously in the long term.


2012 is a pivotal year for America's conservatives. They must show that can not only beat their chests, but offer real solutions. Otherwise they will hurt themselves, regardless of how good or bad Obama's standing is come November.




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