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Friday, February 08, 2008

Romney Out. Significance?

In every conceivable way, Mitt Romney did the right thing yesterday. Operating under the accurate assumption that he did not have a chance to come back, Romney's exit benefits just about everyone:

1. Romney - He's alive to resurrect his political career in four to eight years, and he'll remain on John McCain's short list for the VP nomination (more on this next week). To read how he went out in a conservative blaze of glory, read the text of his withdrawal speech.

2. John McCain - With Romney out of the race, specifically his money and potential to buy ads, McCain has avoided month(s) of attacks from Romney, with, of course, the help of the conservative media and Republican base. Obviously, this would hurt McCain's chances in the general election.

3. Mike Huckabee - Despite Huckabee vowing to push forward yesterday, he has no feasible chance to win. The numbers back this up:

Total delegates possible in Republican Primary: 2,380
Total delegates needed for a majority: 1,191
Delegates remaining to be allocated: 1,166
Huckabee's delegates thus far: 195
--Amount short of 1,166 majority: 996
--Percentage of remaining delegates Huckabee must win: 85%

Huckabee needs to win 996 of the remaining 1,191 delegates up for grabs. The chances of a Huckabee comeback are roughly 50:1. If Romney stayed in to split the social conservative bloc, the odds of a Huckabee comeback would have been ten times worse.

4. Republican Party - It is in the interest of the Republican Party to unite under McCain while Clinton and Obama exchange blows at least through March 4th. It is in the interest of the Republican Party to stay in the White House after President Bush leaves in January. There are potentially 2-3 Supreme Court judge vacancies in the next four to eight years. Who would a Republican rather have in the Oval Office to nominate replacements - passionately pro-choice Clinton/Obama, or staunchly pro-life McCain? Who would a Republican rather have calling the shots in Iraq? Who would Republicans rather have choose the Vice-President and future presumptive nominee? Does it make any sense for a Republican to not support McCain in November?

5. Conservatives - See 2 and 4.

On the subject of conservatives, it will be interesting to see how much longer the right wingers will pretend that McCain and Clinton are indistinguishable. It was clear that the intention of Rush and Co. (Coulter, Beck, Hannity) was to rally the party around Romney by painting McCain as a liberal. Now, however, with Romney out of the race, will they finally agree with objective ratings that show McCain is only a handful of percentage points behind the most conservative senators, while Clinton and Obama are far on the other side of the spectrum?

Yes, of course they will. Why? Because Republicans are better politicians. Democrats constantly fight over sub-issues that are important to the liberal agenda (health care, education, middle class issues, poverty), letting their passionate progressive ideology get in the way of actually making progress, save some select moments in American history (abolitionist movement, woman's movement, civil rights movement, clean air and water). Republicans, meanwhile, happily follow Ronald Reagan's eleventh commandment (Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican) every November, thereby winning seventy percent of national elections in the last forty years, including five of the last seven since Jimmy Carter left office and Reagan won the White House.

This propensity of sacrificing smaller issues, or at least tabling debate on them, manifested itself in Romney's drop out. When Romney stepped aside and claimed it was good for the party, he was telling the truth. He is one of many Republicans who do not want to make the same mistakes that constantly plague Democrats.

Instead of splintering on the sub-issues, Republicans always fall into line with the same three core tentants: Low taxes, no abortion, walk loudly and carry a ridiculously humongous stick. John McCain embodies those issues, so therefore the GOP will follow him to November 4th.


Anonymous said...

I think McCain's inevitable nomination makes it all the more important that the Democrats nominate Obama. McCain would have an easy time swaying independent voters away from Clinton, but Obama's appeal to people of no particular party might attract some of those swing voters. To nominate Hillary is to elect McCain. (And to elect McCain is to doom the country to many more years of war, and quite likely more wars.) With a VP of proven experience and with the Democratic party reminding people that Obama will not be alone in the White House, that he has a powerful and well practiced party behind him, he stands a chance again the mighty McCain.

IC said...

Anon, the plan is to write a blog this Monday morning on that very subject. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

What an insulting concession speech. Vote democrat and you will let the terrorists win. Mr Silver Spoon plastic hair flip flopper has no more chance of winning in 4 years than he does today.

Poster boy of disingenuouness. Class A political phony.

William said...

IC, I think you would attract more readers if you wrote a tad more plainly. Your ideas are great, but I do not think you are appealing to a low enough denominator.

The Dude said...

The Republican party has been salvaged. A crushing defeat for mankind or just what the American people needed?

In your "Independent" wisdom, you forgot the fourth core tenant-Pollute for profit.

Ryan Gomes for Secretary of the Interior...Ubuntu

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