Mitt and the Myth of Inevitability

In politics, as with many competitive enterprises, frontrunners love to promote the myth of inevitability.  Having squeaked out the narrowest of wins in Iowa and now polling favorably in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney is attempting to capitalize on the notion that his nomination is inevitable.  If Republicans want to defeat President Obama come November, primary voters are told, they’d better put their support behind the right man, and that man is clearly Mitt Romney.

Basically Romney’s argument goes like this:  I am ahead, I have the money, and I have the support of the establishment so let’s not kid ourselves.  Uniting behind me now will save time and money by allowing the GOP to devote its resources towards making Barack Obama a one-term president.

The trouble is, the myth of inevitability is just that – a myth!  If the Iowa caucuses demonstrated anything, it is just how tenuous that myth is.  In the months leading up to January 3 – depending on the week, of course – victory appeared secure for Michelle Bachmann, then Herman Cain, then Newt Gingrich, then Ron Paul.  Victory finally did go to Romney, but only by a whisker.  In a nail biter that doubtless put some gray in Romney’s impeccably dyed coif, eleventh-hour surprise Rick Santorum (an ex-Senator with little organization and less money) almost pulled out the upset of the decade.  What Santorum lacked in resources, however, he more than made up for with his message, sweat, and shoe leather.

Given another month and a bit of funding, it’s likely that the outcome in Iowa would have looked very different.  Goodness only knows what Santorum could have accomplished with just a little bit of money and recognition.  Comfortably flush with both, the Romney machine is going to do whatever it takes to overcome the lukewarm enthusiasm that has plagued his candidacy since day one.  This is why the inevitability narrative is critical.

But surely Republican primary voters are smarter than that.  Surely they realize that the outcome of the nomination lies in their hands, not the candidates’ or the pundits’ or the media’s.  Can Santorum be the nominee?  Of course.  So can Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich or any other candidate that the voters decide best represent them.  In short, voters should vote their consciences.  They should work for and give to the candidate who best represents their values and ideas instead of letting the talking heads and the money dictate who their standard bearer should be.  They should not fall for the myth of inevitability, but instead create their own reality.

As for the candidates, they should take heed of the lessons of Iowa and take heart.  This competition is far from over.  May the best man win.

Ken Connor


Ken Connor is the Chairman of the Center for a Just Society. An esteemed attorney, Connor is affiliated with the law firm of Marks, Balette, & Giessel, a firm nationally known for its successful representation of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.

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  • stutmann9

    It would be nice if we could just have it all at once on one day. This process of going state to state is nail-biting and irritating.

  • Agreed. If Romney loses South Carolina, we’ll have to wonder if he’s even still the front runner. Obviously the amount of cash and organization he has will still likely merit that title, but it will be a dog fight. I’m also tired of this notion that he is the most electable. Any candidate will be running against a far-left, out-of-the-mainstream President with a miserable record. Romney has shown plenty of weaknesses as a candidate. He doesn’t have nearly the credibility of a Rick Santorum, for example. And although he may have been a successful CEO his economic record in government is pedestrian. Certainly he’d be a big step ahead of what we have now, but if Republican voters truly vote for the best candidate, I don’t think Romney will be the nominee.


  • mamamull

    he is Obamney and the press is trying to make us think he is the next GOP candidate – argh! thanks for the great article shared it on FB

  • Cooky642

    Thank you for an article pointing out that the “Myth of Inevitability” is just that…a myth. People I talk to are grumping about Romney’s inevitability, and I’m talking louder and longer to educate them to the fact that it IS NOT so! He is NOT inevitable unless we make him so! The GOP might not like it, and the media may like it even less, but WE THE PEOPLE still have the right and power to choose anyone to be our candidate.

    I wouldn’t vote for either Newt Romney or Mitt Gingrich since the Cloned Twins are tied to the CFR and Bildeburger spooks–they are both Obama-lite, and will tell us whatever they like while continuing Obama’s Death March for America. I don’t trust Rick Perry as far as I could throw him, and Rick Santorum is anti-2nd Amendment. Like pro-abortion, I won’t vote for gun controllers, either.

    So, that leaves Dr. Ron Paul. I disagree with some of his more minor ideas, but the fact remains that he’s the ONLY genuine conservative and Constitutionalist candidate. I could get behind a label of Inevitable for Dr. Paul!