Will Mitt Romney be the man facing Barak Obama in the presidential elections this coming November? After his victory yesterday in the Florida election for the Republican nomination it appears that someone in the American administration is already quite sure of it – Romney will receive from today secret service protection reserved to a leading presidential candidate.
Although the road to the final election of a Republican candidate is still long, Romney and his direct opponent Newt Gingrich are gaining a clear lead over the two other remaining candidates, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. One of them or perhaps both may decide soon that their time and money are too precious to continue spending them on a candidacy that seems less and less likely. This will be a welcome move that will focus the discussion and will clarify the final division of votes between the conservative camp and the more liberal camp of the Republican Party without a distracting split of votes.
Romney is a more charismatic, better orhanised, more effective and much wealthier than Gingrich. As to the brutal tactics he is using – both candidates use all means to blacken each other’s reputation in any possible way. The large quantity of negative material they both put in the public domain these days will no doubt serve Obama’s campaign when the real fight for the actual presidency commences. From Israel’s point of view, Gingrich, who holds a very firm position on the Palestinian issue and who committed to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, could no doubt be the preferred candidate – if he stood a reasonable chance of defeating Obama. Current polls do not predict that he will be able to do this. For better or worse, Israel will probably have to trust Mitt Romney who’s pro-Israeli utterings are not always very convincing.
As I wrote in a previous article, if and by the time a Republican president replaces Obama next January, many things would have happened in the Middle East. What is certain is that in any case, and regardless of the outcomes of the Iran standoff, the Syrian rebellion and the transfer of power to the Islamists in Egypt, Israel will continue to depend for the foreseeable future on the United States for military, political and economic support even if its hopes will be dashed and Obama will win a second term in office.