Sunday, August 24, 2008

Not Romney?

Ezra makes the following prediction:
Despite the rumors, it's not Mitt Romney. No way, no how. Romney doesn't bring a state, a narrative, a constituency, or at this point in the cycle with McCain taking public funding. much money. Worse, McCain is getting torn apart on his wealth. Picking the only guy wealthier than he is would be unthinkable. The ticket would have a combined net worth -- somewhere in the $250 million range, I think -- exceeding that of small countries. Romney himself was CEO of Bain Capital, a private equity firm responsible for engineering the layoffs of tens of thousands of Americans. When Mike Huckabee said, “I want to be a president who reminds you of the guy you work with, not the guy who laid you off,” he was talking about Romney.
Here's why I think it is:

Despite all the press ballyhoo about Obama's decline and McCain's resurgence, let's look at InTrade:

In other words, the odds of McCain winning are still pretty long--close to 2-to-1 against. That makes Romney the heir apparent for the 2012 GOP nomination. And, while his money isn't very useful in this cycle if McCain takes federal matching funds, it's incredibly useful down-ballot to stanch the bleeding in the congressional races. He's smart, he's telegenic as hell, and he'll make mincemeat out of Biden in a debate.

Romney has a power bloc that revolves around his money and the money of his friends. McCain will feel the pressure from that bloc. He may resist it, but he knows he's got to make nice with the party establishment to get the voter turnout he needs.

Finally, running with McCain, Romney is free to be Romney. He can't step back from the pro-life thing (and I suspect that he doesn't care personally one way or the other) but McCain and Romney are more ideologically compatible than they seemed to be in the primaries, when Romney screwed the pooch running so obviously away from his real political persona. The general election allows him to rehabilitate himself in public, after which he's either the VP or he's the guy who got to shine in the general election campaign. Either way, he's the heir apparent.


Ted said...

Despite the Dems and the allied main stream media’s desperation to see Romney as McCain’s Veep, Mitt is clearly out, with (1) Obama doubling down on the class warfare theme (McCain’s 7 houses) and (2) McCain doubling down with ads showing the hypocrisy of Biden attacking Obama in the primaries — Romney did way more than that contra McCain.

This leaves only Govs Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty. Pro-abortion Ridge and Dem-Lieberman were never real considerations, despite relentless media goading. Pawlenty’s lackluster TV performances, coupled with Palin pizzazz, the primacy of oil drilling and the ticked off women/Hillary voters, does now portend a McCain/Palin checkmate on the Dems. This is so albeit the Dems and liberal media dare not mention Palin’s name, that is, everyone but…..

And if there’s any question as to Palin being uniquely positioned and able to more than nullify Biden in debate, see the excellent discussion at

Team McCain, well done!!!

TheRadicalModerate said...

What, you're not just salivating over Eric Cantor?

I wonder if Palin can avoid getting sprayed by the excavation of the open sewer that is Ted Stevens. With AK politics being equivalent to those of a largish town, I'd want to be awfully careful in the vetting. Pawlenty would be a fine choice, I guess, but the "Tim Who?" factor kinda militates against it.

I don't buy that all the sturm und drang of the primary disqualifies Romney, but I really think it comes down to two things:

1) Lots and lots of money.

2) Romney's the only national name other than McCain--and maybe a thoroughly discredited Giuliani--that anybody could even think of as being a serious candidate in 2012.

He's a good hedge. He doesn't hurt the ticket in the unlikely event that McCain has a chance (and I still believe that McCain is only alive because it's in the media's interest to have things be at least a little exciting--think of a bored cat with a mouse and you'll have the proper picture) and, in the much more likely event that prep for 2012 is everything, it's good to start to rehabilitate Romney now.

TheRadicalModerate said...

Ted, one other qualification: I'd love to see McCain win. He'd be a perfectly creditable President, and I'm a huge fan of divided government. I'm just not holding my breath.

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