It is the season for silly predictions about the presidential campaign, and the most absurd of all is that the GOP is headed towards the emergence of a new candidate or a “brokered convention.”
This first meme got some traction when ABC’s Jonathan Karl quoted an “anonymous Republican senator” as saying that “[I]f Romney cannot win Michigan, we need a new candidate.”
First, ask yourself if your assessment of this assessment changes with the identity of the senator making it? Of course it does. If we knew the name of the senator this might be the biggest laugh line in many years.
I don’t doubt for a second that one of the 47 did in fact say this to Karl, but he or she might also have said something completely different to the next reporter down the street, or might be hoping to be the person the convention turns to, or might be providing an old friend copy.
What the Karl story represents is the Manhattan-Beltway media culture’s obsession with being relevant to a process to which most of them are at best remotely connected.
Except for the handful that have moderated a debate –or king of the debates John King who is moderating his third this week!—most of the Beltway scribblers just don’t matter, their stories don’t matter, and their speculations don’t matter. None of them forecast the race as it has unfolded and now none of them are willing to write the obvious story that is likely to unfold.
Romney will win Arizona and probably Michigan. He will do well enough on Super Tuesday and will almost certainly go on to be the nominee. Newt’s campaign is wrecked though not sunk and Rick’s is taking on water. Sure, anything is possible, but the Manhattan-Beltway media elite’s obsession with trying to create drama when most of the drama is done is amusing.
A “brokered convention” in the Tea party era which is all about participation in politics and an outcry against elites?
A new candidate able to raise a third of a billion dollars much less three times that much that is really necessary to beating the president in the fall? Donors would flee such chaos, and rightly so.
The nominee will be one of the three who has won a primary or a caucus to date, and it is overwhelmingly likely to be Romney.
Rick Santorum’s emergence is a great expression of the importance of the party’s social conservative wing and to a lesser extent its foreign policy elite as Santorum is the most experienced in the field at thinking, reading and talking about Iran.
But the MSM could not but fall on his convictions about the sanctity of life with the rage and vengeance they have shown. It was in their interest to restrain themselves both for ratings and to bleed Romney, but they just couldn’t. Santorum is an apostate within the political-media elites on the issues of the seriousness of faith, on life in the womb, on the culture of life and on the claims of serious Christianity.
Elite media is –at best—10 to 1 opposed to Santorum’s world view. Indeed it is as though he is speaking a foreign language they have never heard before. The Chicago gang may not have wanted them to attack Santorum as they have, but they have been trained by editors and producers for thirty years to marginalize and attack serious social conservatives, so that is what they have done to Santorum, and his numbers have fallen as a result as even GOP voters sympathetic to his world view glimpse the jihad the pro-choice absolutists would wage against a devout Roman Catholic.
Because Senator Santorum is smart, affable and prepared, he will not have any moments like the proverbial “last press conference” of Richard Nixon, and he will remain a vote draw through to the convention.
But if you had to bet your house, or even if you just wanted a very secure bet, you’d look at the math and the calendar and recognize that Mitt Romney is almost certainly going to the GOP nominee because he is the candidate best positioned to beat President Obama in the fall, and that is what is driving the GOP electorate more than anything else.