So I go out on a limb and describe Mitt Romney as the Republican "frontrunner in waiting." Then Erick Erickson at Red State turns around and publicly renounces his support for "Multiple Choice Mitt." Says Erick, "I'm tired of the explanations and I'm tired of the dodges."
I'm tired of running into these stories. I'm tired of the hedges. I'm tired of the dodges. And I'm tired of the caveated nuance. So let me put this straight and bluntly. I'm more than happy to support my man Mitt if he is the Republican nominee. But, like Hillary Clinton, he is a political opportunist who I increasingly see as someone without principle, only a weather vane.Da-yum.
Multiple Choice Mitt had me at hello. He lost me on the flip.
If this basic dynamic of "the biggest Republican" running continues to hold, then it would surprising in the extreme to see anybody other than McCain or Giuliani get the nod. Nobody else in the field is even in the same universe from a name recognition standpoint (save Newt, whom I love, but isn't even a serious candidate).Of course, the sample size is pretty small, which makes it hard to control for contingent factors. But here's my bigger question: since 1980, when have the Republicans nominated a non-incumbent candidate who was actively loathed by the conservative movement? (I'm counting G.W. Bush as an incumbent, by the way.) The only possibility would be Dole - was he discussed with the same vitriol conservatives reserve for McCain? I honestly don't know.
Clearly, people think there is an opening because neither McCain nor Giuliani has rock solid conservative credentials, but the voters aren't as sensitive as we net-denizens might believe and McCain is beginning to claim the pro-life slot as against Rudy. So, I'm not sure the opening is really there.