“LONG BEACH, Calif. — Mitt Romney hopes to revive his Republican campaign by championing himself as the last true conservative contender,” writes Elizabeth Holmes in a online.wsj.com article titled Romney’s Comeback Plan Trumpets His Conservatism

“We’re quite far apart,” Mr. Romney said of John McCain yesterday at a news conference here. “That distinction is what will, in the final analysis, be my best weapon in a battle to the finish.”

To survive in the race, Mr. Romney must stop Arizona Sen. McCain’s momentum on Tuesday, when 21 states select among Republican candidates. So far, Sen. McCain has won in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, while Mr. Romney has taken Michigan and Nevada […]

We discuss and criticize Romney’s latest incarnation here.

Here we want to develop the race to the base theme.

In an earlier transmission, we developed and describe this particular stage of the primaries contest as the race to the base. Here be our account with updates and annotations provided largely by the crack bloggers of race42008.com.

Our analysis: Here begins the race to the base, friends and well wishers. Sen. McCain will, we predict, begin to reach out to conservative personalities (right wing shock jocks, talking heads, celebrities, talking heads), professional conservatives (writers, analysts, columnists, editors, think tank researchers), conservative activists, issues coalitions, pressure groups etc. But now he can reach out to them from a position of power, having developed reliable evidence of

(a) his fitness as a candidate,
(b) his fitness as a developer of issues and a builder of coalitions.

Now Sen. McCain has something to offer the base: the influence that flows freely from proximity to power. This is how the primary process as political ritual is supposed to work. It reduces to a barter economy, a patron-client system of tribute where the coin is power and the exchange rate can be murderous.

This is largely coming to pass as we predicted—e.g. LJ provides pro-Sen. McCain quotes from conservative luminaries Grover Norquist, Romney shill Tony Perkins, and Richard Land.

Back to our earlier analysis:

Romney for his part will reach out to the base too, frantically, desperately, if only to counter Sen. John McCain. But Romney’s position is more tenuous, more perilous. Romney can only issue threats and dire assessments of a Sen. McCain presidency—in simpler terms, Romney’s task, as Romney himself describes it, is “to drum up old conservative distrust of McCain”—i.e. Romney’s task is to slime Sen. McCain so badly that he cannot win.

This is also developing as we had predicted. Romney surrogates and shills are frantically retailing the following themes

(a) “If Sen. McCain wins, I will vote for Hillary,” e.g. Romney shill Ann Coulter

–and–

(b) “Sen. McCain once considered running as a Democrat,” as debunked and criticized by Kavon Nikrad of race42008.com.

Will Tribe Romney win the day? Is Tribe Romney willing to destroy the GOP to put Romney in the White House? History will answer these question for us.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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