Goodbye, Romney

Palin’s endorsement of McCain in his Senate re-election bid was understandable, given her indebtedness to him as the man who raised her to national prominence. But Romney, the 2008 conservative standard bearer, endorsing McCain? McCain, the archenemy of conservatism? McCain, the man who viciously and dishonestly beat up on Romney during their last debate in 2008? The truth is that for all his good qualities, talents, and intelligence,—and I think he’s the most intelligent man in national politics in decades—Romney is not a leader. At his political core (I’m not speaking here of his personal core), he’s a plastic man, an opportunist. All through the 2008 primary cycle I said he was an opportunist you could trust, that is, he had offered himself as the leader of the conservative movement, and he could be trusted, as far as such things are possible in politics, to carry out that pledge. But that was then. His offer to be the leader of conservatism ended when his candidacy did, and he rushed in the most unseemly way to become McCain’s lapdog. And he’s still McCain’s lapdog today—completely unnecessarily and gratuitously. The reliable opportunist has become a reliable supporter of the number one anti-conservative in the Republican Party.

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Jim C. writes:

Observant post. Yes, Romney is not a leader; he’s a deal maker. While Brown is not a cultural conservative, I believe he is a leader and would easily defeat Obama. Romney could potentially make a great, Cheney-like VP for Brown.

LA replies:

Yes, Romney as VP is a good idea. He’s not a leader himself, but would loyally serve and intelligently advise. With his inordinate desire to please, he’s a natural for the vice presidency.

Bryan writes:

McCain did get nearly 60 million votes. That would have been enough for earlier elections. I am not a Romney fan, but it would seem to be a good political decision.

LA replies:

It wasn’t a good decision if it turned off Rush Limbaugh, which it did, with his 20 million conservative listeners, Romney’s 2008 base. And it also turned me off, who argued strongly for Romney all through the 2008 primaries as the best, indeed, the only acceptable option among those running.

Mark Jaws writes:

Well, now that Romney is gone, what about….

Marco Rubio as a future leader? He seems smart and articulate enough, and not overburdened with excess erudition. I watched his CPAC speech and this cynically seasoned semi-Semite was almost brought to tears when the conservative Caucasian Cuban caballero spoke of his family’s hard work. I really like him. I just wonder if he has cleared Auster’s Austere Exam yet.

February 25

Dan S. writes:

Personally I’ve never liked Romney. He has always struck me as a phony and a flip-flopper. While as governor of Massachusetts he helped enact liberal legislation, yet expected to be embraced as the conservative’s conservative when he ran for president. About the only redeeming feature he had is that he wasn’t John McCain. The fact that he has endorsed John McCain over an actual conservative J. D. Hayworth demonstrates how useless Romney has always been to the conservative movement.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 24, 2010 11:07 PM | Send

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