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The board is set

This Letter to the Editors was submitted by Mark Besonen, a sophomore at Concordia College.

Well folks, the lineup has been finalized. After months of breathless anticipation and prolonged periods of action-packed drama, the presidential faceoff scheduled for this November is now set between Barack Obama on the left and Mitt Romney on the center-right. Over the last couple of months, the American people have been treated to Tim Pawlenty (remember him?) trying to convince everyone that he’s interesting, to Michelle Bachmann trying to convince everyone that she’s sane, Rick Perry’s disastrous “Strong” commercial, Newt Gingrich’s talk of students becoming janitors (which was way better auto-tuned) and Herman Cain singing of Pokémon to reinforce his platform.

Overall, the Republican field could be split into two groups: the bumbling idiots and the vanillas. The bumbling idiots had all the flash and excitability to get the base going, but they were too darn stupid to create viable candidates. The vanillas, on the other hand, were/are viable candidates but lacked the flash to excite anyone.

The bumbling idiots have all burned out, and the vanillas have, for the most part, faded into oblivion until one remains: Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum’s withdrawal has finally removed the last obstacle from the “inevitable” nominee’s path to becoming the man of the hour for the Republican Party.

Now that Romney has all but secured the Republican nomination, he can finally direct all his attention at his main opponent, that old Socialist, Barack Hussein Obama. Obama’s in trouble; polls show him virtually tied with a generic Republican candidate (which is the definition of Mitt Romney) while also having to deal with an approval rating south of 50%. Romney is capitalizing on Obama’s failure on the economy, the national debt and health care. Because Obama knows he is weak in those areas, he has adopted a campaign who’s slogan could be “hey, it could be worse,” a far cry from the “Yes We Can” of four years ago.

Romney has his own weaknesses. Despite being the near-certain nominee, he has to continue trying to convince a skeptical Conservative base that he is a true son of the right. It doesn’t help that Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, one of the most liberal states in the nation, and created an Obamacare-like health plan as well.

Despite these shortcomings, Romney is a strong candidate. He spent years in the private sector (something our current President can’t boast), so he knows and is wedded to the market aspect of the economy, something Washington needs.  He’s also played a very smart game, not making many mistakes, advocating moderation when called for but also knowing how to stir up the base when needed. Mitt Romney is a candidate that the GOP can rally behind and fight for.

Obstacles still remain. Obama is weak but not a pushover. The Democrats are gearing up for their fall back campaign of vilifying the right and attacking a person’s character. This year’s ridiculous accusation of the right’s “war on women” is a new twist on their old class warfare routine. Romney still has problems with the Conservative base, but he can rectify this by picking a good vice president. Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio or even Ron Paul would be excellent choices.

It is time, Republicans. It is time, Conservatives. It’s time, Independents. We must rally behind Romney because he’s our best shot at victory. It’s time to rise up and fight for true “Change we can believe in.” Hope was killed in 2008; let’s resurrect it in 2012.

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