I believe he’s still off to a rocky start with the March mishap, being disinvited by a local Catholic church in Des Moines, and getting in just three days after the first debate.
All of that pales in comparison to his personal history and the baggage that carries. I just don’t see him overcoming it. I know he’s not afraid to address the topic, and I’m sure he’s changed. It will still be a major stumbling block (rightfully so).
I don’t say that in order to diminish his ideas and a lot of the work he has done. I appreciate his ideas, he’s given some good speeches in Iowa, and I think he’s incredibly smart. He has certainly not shied away from social conservatives, unlike Mitt Romney who thinks he can find a path to victory by avoiding Iowa and South Carolina. There is also a perception in Iowa among caucus goers that he isn’t very accessible. An example he spent very little time with activists at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition forum back in March, other candidates spent time afterwards talking with those who attended – Speaker Gingrich left after his speech. He’s going to have to change that perception because Iowans expect candidates to be accessible. Right now I still think there is a void among potential caucus goers. I’m just not convinced he’s the guy who will fill it.
Photo by Dave Davidson