Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quick Hits: Volume LXIII

- At first glance, this may seem like a hint of "sour grapes."

Mitt Romney didn't want to be president, anyway.

That's what Tagg Romney, Mitt's oldest son, told the Boston Globe for its big post-mortem on his father's failed presidential bid published on Sunday.

“He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life," Tagg Romney told the paper. "He had no desire to ... run. If he could have found someone else to take his place ... he would have been ecstatic to step aside.

"He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them," Tagg continued. "He has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.”
 
I often wondered what the catalyst was behind Romney making another run at the Presidency. Given the fact he was 65-years old, a multi multi millionaire and a devoted family man, he seemed to be in the perfect spot to settle in to the final quarter of his life with hardly a care. That is in stark contrast to running non-stop across the country for more than a year applying for a job where, once he receives it, millions of people desire to burn him in effigy on a daily basis.

On the flip side, Romney's track record of success in the business community most certainly armed him with the knowledge of which government regulations were most stifling to business and job growth. That would have likely been addressed day one. In addition, he and running mate Paul Ryan knew full well that any serious discussion about deficit reduction (and ultimately the reigning in of our out of control National Debt) absolutely had to begin and end with entitlement reform. That is in stark contrast to the White House's current occupant, who perpetually puts forth gimmicks like the "Buffett Rule" as well as insisting on $800 billion in tax increases without any inkling of compromise on entitlements.

In the end, I would guess that Romney didn't want to be President as much as he felt he needed to step forth to aid the country he loves so much.


- Now that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is likely to be the next Secretary of State, a special election will be held in 2013 for Kerry's vacated Senate seat. Of the GOP candidates looking to run, the hot rumor is that former Senator Scott Brown (who won a special election in January 2010 to replace the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy) will throw his hat into the ring. Brown was defeated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren last month after serving in the U.S. Senate for nearly three years.

Hypothetically, let's say Brown wins the special election in 2013. That means Brown would be finishing out Kerry's latest six-year term, for which he was elected in November 2008. Assuming Brown would want to maintain the seat, he'd have to run in the national midterm elections of 2014. That means Brown will have eventually run for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.


- With their win over the Houston Texans this past Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings tied a franchise record for largest one season improvement in win total. Having won a mere three games last season, the Vikings are now 9-6 (they went from 9-7 in 1997 to 15-1 in 1998) and needing to defeat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday to earn a berth in the playoffs.

It's amazing to think where the club was on Christmas Eve 2011. Their franchise player, running back Adrian Peterson, tore two ligaments in his left knee and QB Christian Ponder, who seemed to be regressing as the '11 season wore on, was knocked silly with a concussion. Twelve months later, Peterson is a mere 102 yards away from becoming only the seventh RB in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season and his club is knocking on the proverbial postseason door. Not bad for a team many projected to win about five games this season (Personally, I predicted five, maybe six).

With all that said, there is still a large question mark remaining at the quarterback position. While Ponder had his moments early in the season, there have been far too many games since where he has looked utterly inept. One could argue that he has had little to work with in the receiving core, especially with the absence of his top receiving play maker in Percy Harvin. With that in mind, if Ponder is indeed anointed the starter for 2013, Vikings personnel guy Rick Spielman absolutely must find some more talent at the wide receiver position via the draft or free agency. It also may not be a bad idea to find a reliable veteran (preferably a guy in his late 20s without a lot of wear and tear) to push Ponder's development (or maybe even compete for the starting job). Let's face it: Joe Webb and McLeod Bethel-Thompson don't exactly put the fear of God into Ponder.

Either way, given Spielman's largely successful 2012 draft (his first as being the sole man in charge of personnel decisions) and Frazier earning the respect of such key veterans as Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen and Kevin Williams, the Vikings may actually be relevant for the immediate (and intermediate) future.
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