Mac and Mitt

Well it happened, and far sooner than I had anticipated.  Mitt Romney (R-MA), has officially endorsed John McCain (R-AZ) for President.  This is the culmination of what began at the CPAC Conference.  It also signals that a deal between the two camps has been struck, and that Huckabee may have screwed himself over by staying in the race up to this point.

For those that find this to be something of a shock, don’t be.  The rancor between Mac and Mitt that was played over the media was more smoke than fire.  The problem existed not between the candidates themselves, but between the campaigns and the staffs (and more than a few supporters engaged in the sniping).  So this is not much of a shock, the only surprise coming from the timing. 

I had expected this to happen, and was convinced it was going to happen after Romney’s speach at CPAC.  The last thing any of the candidates wanted (except maybe Ron Paul) was to so fracture the GOP, and the conservative movement as a whole so badly that it could not be repaired.  The vitriolic sniping that happened before CPAC (with all parties guilty to one degree or another) was threatening a split that could have potenntially destroyed both, and reduced it all to fringe groups.  As McCain gained more and more momentum, and more and more conservtaive endorsements, Romney saw the witing on the wall.  In what was a truly class act, Romney went out trying to heal the forming rifts, in what was perhaps his best speach ever.

We all knew that some sort of deal was in the works.  The campaigns started talking last week.  But the rapidity of this endorsement shocks me a bit.  I had fully expected this to come, but not before Ohio and Texas voted in their primaries.  Yesterday’s announcement obviously indicates that some sort of deal has been struck.

But what sort of deal?  Two main possibilities here: 1. Romney has been offered the VP slot; 2. Romney has been offered Secretary of the Treasury.  At the very least expect Romney to hold some sort of significiant policy position as regards the economy.  My money is on the VP slot still.  Why?  It’s good for both camps.  For McCain, it brings Romney and more conservatives on board, solidifying support in some key states.  For Romney it keeps him in the national spotlight, poising him for a run in either 2012 or 2016.  This argument still holds true even if Romney doesn’t get the VP nod, but takes a high level policy position.  People should expect Romney to start campaigning for McCain next month if Huckabee drops out.

Mike Huckabee needs a reality check.  He can’t win, not that he could before, and now a brokered convention is all but an impossibility.  If he was angling for either the VP slot or a cabinet post, he may have over played his hand.  All he can do now is cause problems and rancor in the party and among conservatives, which will be a significant disservice to both.  Huckabee should drop out Monday.  Or he will if he’s smart.  If he insists on staying in, he will hurt himself, and not do anyone any favors.

So let the healing begin.  Former Romney supporters will be welcomed (in general) with open arms.  I look forward to seeing Romney on the trail on behalf of the GOP, and his continued role in economic policy.  While this move will not bring back the real hard liners, it will bring in 85% of the conservatives not already on board with McCain.

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6 thoughts on “Mac and Mitt

  1. It amuses me that so many doctrinaire, knee-jerk conservatives who profess to detest McCain for real and imaged slights to conservative orthodoxy are so willing (and gullible) enough to believe that Romney had a rebirth 2 years ago, just coincidentally coinciding with his run for the presidency, in which he repented all the many stands he took as governor of Mass and running to the left of Teddy Kennedy on many issues, including abortion, gay rights, gun control, socialized medicine and immigration. All the sudden he is the conservative’s choice and the ‘most conservative’ guy running.

    I am relieved that most Republicans didn’t fall for his act, only the far right, nativists and McCain Derangement Sufferers. I have also enjoyed the kicking screaming tantrum the far right has thrown since he became the apparent nominee. This entire campaign has been an education for me in whom I no longer wish to be associated with politically, and the Malkinite/Limbaugh wing of the party, those most pissed off about McCain, are the main ones I am glad to see dismayed and defeated. I hope most of them sit home so they are further marginalized, as I hope McCain further flips them off by picking a moderate VP nominee.

  2. Michael- Email sent. Thanks as well.

    Doc- Don’t expect the ultra-hrad liners to be tweaked even more at this stage of the game. We’ll need the vast majority of them if we are to win in November. They too have a role to play not only in the upcoming election, but in the GOP as well. The dynamic of discussion and debate between the “moderate” and “hard line conservative” wings of the party is a good, and necessary thing. It’s why I get so upset when talking heads like Limbaugh go off the deep end like a moonbat Democrat. We’ve never as a party or even as conservative movement been hell bent over party orthodoxy and ideological purity. Just look at how the Dem’s have destroyed (or tried to) anyone who didn’t toe the party line. When was the last time anyone talked about a “conservative Democrat?” We don’t eat our own, or at least we’re not supposed to. I am a firm believer in the Reaganite “Big Tent,” and will continue to espouse such. I do understand the position of the hard liners, and respect it as such. I just think they’ve become too rigid in their orthodoxy, a rigidity that is doing themselves more harm than good.

  3. I disagree. I think that independents and even disaffected Dems will vote in great numbers for McCain. Obama, who is probably going to win thenomination, is a media construct. His campaigning like a rock star is not going to wear well 8 months later.

    Disaassociating with the far right will give McCain more cred with the moderate voters, and help him govern more from the center, and more effectively. He’s going to have a Dem Congress anyway.

    I am disgusted and repelled by the far right, and would have left the party had they won their way. I am relieved and satisfied with the way things panned out.

  4. Further, the fact that the far right was completely ineffective in getting their chose “conservative” nominee even past Super Tuesday, and after he spent more money than all the other candidates combined (about a million dollars per delegate won, compare to Huckabee at 20k per delegate and McCain at 30k per) just shows how impotent the far right is. Romney never made a dent outside any state that wasn’t Mormon dominated, one of his “home states” or a western state like Montana or S. Dakota with like 3 delegates. He lost every Southern state, most of them in 3rd place. By far, most Huckabee voters named McCain as their 2nd choice. Romney couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in the South, and you damn sure don’t win the presidency by losing the Solid Republican South.

    The far right is finished as a force in the party, and I personally think McCain should have a Sister Souljah moment and denounce and disown the Malkinite/Limbaugh/Hannity wing of the party just as W.F. Buckley denounced and disowned the John Birchers- we don’t need the extremists to win, and distancing himself from them will bring in many more independents and moderates, and they won’t be reactionaries, homophobes, xenophobes, racists and nativists that seem to dominate the lock-step minions of “Big Pharma” Limbaugh.

    Good riddance to them.

  5. Don’t mistake disorganization for true weakness. The big problem the far right had with the primaries, was that they couldn’t agree on who was “the true conservative.” As has been said, each candidate has issues where they diverge radically from the talk radio conservatives. Each more or less had a “poison pill” issue that was sinking them in their eyes. It wasn’t until Mac got rolling again that they “settled” on Romney, not so much in support of him, but in opposition to McCain and Huckabee.

    The Limbaugh wing (for lack of a better term), still has influence. Look at what happened at CPAC (even though Coulter was NOT invited back). A lot of rank and file conservatives have concerns over Mac’s candidacy. It is to those people that we need to look, and not the talking heads (though it would be the easiest way to reach them). They have the organization, the money, and the drive to get a lot done for a candidate. Are they the “force” they were made out to be in 1994? No, but they do still have pull among voters.

    I will say this though. If Rush et al continue on this hell bent for leaher ride to ideological purity, I will go the Buckley route. There’s still a window of opportunity here IMO, and it should not be closed prematurely. Let the process work itself out, or at least try to. Don’t sabotage efforts at reconciliation before the other side walks away.

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