A growing avalanche of Republican support has been orchestrated to push the grassroots to embrace Governor Mitt Romney. Only halfway through the primary, Republican leaders are telling voters the decision is made. Mitt Romney will be the Republican Candidate for President of the United States. Will Wisconsin voters fall into line on Tuesday’s primary or will they speak with a mind of their own?
In 2008 John McCain took the nomination to a less than enthusiastic response. But when Sarah Palin hit the stage in Minneapolis, the roof nearly came off the convention center. The base was electrified. One of the first campaign stops was Wisconsin. Crowds were enormous as Wisconsinites craned their necks to get a glimpse of the new conservative VP candidate.
One man stood to express the exasperation many conservatives felt with the clueless McCain, who had been facing Barack Obama with timidity and deference: “Fight for us, Senator McCain! Fight for us!” McCain pulled the mike close, delivered his signature grunt-laugh, and made a joke. The Heartland’s heart sunk to realize the former war hero had become their hapless champion against a formidable foe he didn’t even understand.
Why then are so many Republican leaders rushing to anoint a similar candidate, Mitt Romney, who describes President Barack Obama as a “nice man” who “just doesn’t understand?” For some it is a matter of power. They fear a conservative candidate, in spite of the fact that no moderate Republican has won the nomination in years; Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain: all moderates, all losers. The only Republican to win during those lost decades was conservative Ronald Reagan, after battling the same Republican Establishment.
There is much to be gained by supporting Mitt Romney. There are nominations for Vice President to be considered and payoffs of campaign debt. This might explain Newt Gingrich’s reportedly “very friendly” meeting with Governor Romney last week. There is an orchestrated effort by insiders in Washington and by the Romney camp sweetening the deal for anyone who will come his way.
But the race is not over! Walter Shapiro has articulated it beautifully in “Why is the Press so ready to Count Santorum Out?”