I'm sure many of you have watched the reality TV show Survivor. The one thing I really dislike about that series, is the strongest player almost never makes it until the end and wins. The concept of "may the best person win," rarely happens on Survivor. Why? Because the way the voting works on the show creates a dynamic where the weaker players are forced to ally themselves together to vote out the strongest player. After the tribes merge, the strongest player has a big X on his back, and becomes the target of the weaker players. If you've seen the show, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and you'll also understand how this same dynamic is playing out currently in the Republican primary.
Who is the strong player everyone is ganging up on? Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney had big leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and it was starting to look like he was going to take it all. No other single "player" was competitive in ALL of the early states, only Romney, so no one dared take him on one-on-one, so they formed an alliance.
Rudy was a no show in the early states, McCain, looking old and tired, was sinking in the national polls and in Iowa, and Huckabee was a no-show in New Hampshire and the other states where they didn't have a strong Evangelical Christian base. Romney was the ONLY candidate in a position to win the first few states. So, what did these weaker players do? The same thing the weaker players on Survivor do, they formed an alliance to take out the strongest player, giving them a chance.
An alliance formed between Rudy, Huckabee and McCain. Rudy needed Huckabee to take Romeny out in Iowa and McCain to take Romney out in New Hampshire. So, these three weaker candidates started gaining up on Romney. If you watched the Republican debate tonight, it was very clear who everyone was gunning for.
Once in a great while, the strong player on Survivor is able to win enough "immunity challenges" to actually make it to the end. It's very rare, but happens occasionally. If Romney can win in New Hampshire, he will have foiled the Rudy/McCain/Huckabee alliance's strategy. If he can't, just as is usually the case with Survivor, a less capable player will win the crown. (After the alliance takes out Romney, they then need to turn on themselves, fighting over which of these three now gets to take the lead if Romney is out. My guess is it will be McCain, leaving Rudy and Huckabee with the short end of their alliance.)
The real loser, however, should this happen, is the Republican party. The winner? The Democrats, who will have a field day with Huckabee, and stand a greater chance against the weaker, "grumpy old man" McCain or Rudy.
If you ever jump into Survivor in the middle of the season, having missed the first few episodes, and you want to know who the strongest player is, just look for the one everyone else is trying to take out of the game. You don't see any alliances to take out Rudy, McCain, Huckabee, Thompson, or Paul, because none of them really fears any of the others, because they all have weaknesses that can be exploited. Romney is the one candidate that is strong enough it will take an alliance to take him out. For the sake of the Republican party, I hope this doesn't happen, and the strongest player stays in the game to take on the Democrats.
PS: Something worth watching about Mike Huckabee by Glen Beck, who was recovering from surgery:
I also wanted to comment on this ad by John McCain...
The facts are:
- McCain never specifically went after the "bridge to nowhere," in fact, he was absent for key votes on its funding.
- McCain never proposed cutting the bear study and actually voted for the final bill containing it.
- McCain wasn't present for the most important votes on the Woodstock museum, including one on an amendment he co-sponsored to kill the earmark and divert some of the funds.