on Romney’s options after Florida’s decision for Sen. John McCain
[…] “McCain isn’t a prohibitive favorite, but he’s a strong one,” writes William Kirstol in a weeklystandard blog burst titled Kristol: The Next 12 Hours
What could change the situation? It’s hard to believe paid advertising across 22 states (even if Romney’s willing to splurge) could fundamentally change the dynamic. There could always be some sort of scandal, revelation, or gaffe, or course – though that would be far more likely if there were a new, suddenly-emerged frontrunner, than with the most veteran and best-known candidate in the field. So the most likely game-changer, if there were to be one, would be tonight’s debate. It’s likely to be Romney’s last direct shot at McCain. If Romney were to land a really telling blow, it could shape the narrative for the rest of this week. If not, if this debate follows the course of almost all its predecessors and has no decisive moment, then all attention turns to Clinton-Obama, and McCain should have a pretty clear path.
The Romney camp has twelve hours to come up with a startling factoid, formulation, or revelation. The McCain camp has twelve hours to prepare for any such eventuality. If McCain does well tonight, he should be the GOP nominee […]
Sen. McCain can win. But Romney cannot be defeated, at least not decisively, and at least not yet. Romney’s vast personal fortune, Sen. McCain’s ceiling of 36% in the earlier primaries according to Kristol, alleged conservative disaffection—all these things suggest that Romney could stick it out. However:
“Two questions come to mind” for Matt Lewis in a townhall.com blog burst titled Romney after Tsunami Tuesday?
- Would this shrewd business man, who has already spent well-over 20 million dollars of his own money, continue spending money on what could be a losing cause? Smart businessmen don’t throw away money.
- Would Mitt Romney want to be blamed for a Republican loss in the General Election. Fair or not, if he prolongs the race too long, that’s what some people would say …
Ronald Reagan went all the way to the Convention in ’76, and was rewarded with the nomination in ’80. That could happen for Mitt, too. Or, he could be more like Ted Kennedy — who was blamed for costing Jimmy Carter the election that same year […]
Our comments and reflections: Romney’s shrewdness does not extend to the management of his political operations. Evidence: his appallingly low ROI for his every campaign dollar.
And whether or for what Romney gets blamed will affect Romney’s decision not in the least—recent history alone predicts this. Romney had it within his power to attempt to repair the damage that his negative advertising wrought in Iowa and New Hampshire; he has had the chance to reach out to Gov. Huckabee and Sen. McCain supporters. But he never has, and he probably never will. Conclusion: the man simply does not care what people think of him, he does not care how much his arrogant behavior costs him in polling numbers or at the ballot box, and he has no loyalty to either party or principle to moderate his behavior.
Our prediction: Romney will stick it out to the end. When the GOP collapses into a smoking wreck, Romney will turn and blame conservatives for failing to support him in sufficient strength, intensity, or depth.