1. I saw Herman Cain on Piers Morgan last night for a few minutes. He was terrible on homosexuality and abortion—pro-choice in all the wrong places. Meanwhile, the 9s is picking up endorsements from the likes of Steve Forbes. Cain’s done and deserves to be done, and for reasons having nothing to do with his tax views.
2. Meanwhle, we have Jim Ceaser’s subtle and witty advocacy masquerading as analysis. It’s not that he loves or even hearts Mitt. We’re stuck with him at this point, and we’re doing a lot more than settling. Dole, McCain, and both Bushes—that was settling! Now’s the time not only to respect but to learn to love the one we’re with.
3. We don’t want an inspirational president now. We’re taking more of a real break from history, and we have to get our own house in order. That’s not to say we don’t need to be responsible and involved in world affairs and do the good we can—not to mention be ready for the inevitable crisis. Mitt knows his stuff when it comes to foreign policy; he’s a realist in the good sense.
4. Mitt isn’t inspirational, but when he speaks we know he knows what he talking about. We should be proud that our guy is the competent and articulate guy. Obama’s good at talking change, but it turns out he’s pretty clueless on the how. The change we can believe in, that can really improves our lives, turns out to be fairly prosaic moves to encourage economic growth and make our entitlements as sustainable as they can be. Obamacare is not sustainable, but neither is the dismantling of our minimalist welfare state to achieve a balanced budget too soon and in the wrong way.
5. So we’re talking about the most articulate Republican president since Nixon. And the best CEO since Eisenhower. Mitt certainly doesn’t have Nixon’s “emotional issues” that experts say stemmed from his screwed up early life. Romney was raised right and exudes self-confidence and moral solidity. He’s worked hard and in the right way to get ready for the presidency.
6. The big problem is, of course, that lots or maybe most Republicans who actually vote in primaries and caucuses view the current situaton differently. They think of this as an almost-revolutionary movement that fends off national collapse with a new birth of freedom through constitutional regeneration. Mitt, they know, doesn’t believe like they believe. And they didn’t enter political life to settle for some regular Republican who’s more like a CEO than a principled statesman. Romney is no Lincoln or even Reagan.
7. All the ideological candidates have imploded, except Ron Paul. That’s bad news for Mitt. He needs to beat someone who’ll actually graciously endorse him after being defeated. Imagine Paul pumped up by impressive primary showings and lots of delegates. I think Romney beats him, but I also think Paul will go rogue in one way or another. Walk out of the convention? Third-party? We still need another candidate, and I don’t mean Gingrich or Santorum—neither of whom are really Tea-Party kind of guys (to begin a long list of problems).