Matt Lewis breaks it down:
Today, the perfunctory, “next in line” theory suggests that the most likely GOP nominee will be former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. While Romney dropped-out of the 2008 campaign earlier than Mike Huckabee, most conservatives concede that Romney finished in second place – and that is certainly the view held by the McCainiacs. So, by the logic that led to the nominations of McCain and Dole, it’s Romney’s turn. Even if rank-and-file conservatives find him less than perfect concede that he’s paid his dues.
But what about the other model? Who is this year’s Goldwater — and, just maybe, our Reagan? Who is the person movement conservatives really want? It sure ain’t Mike Huckabee. And it might be Sarah Palin.
Palin is the only potential candidate on the Republican side with star power. It’s hard to quantify that trait, but Reagan had it. Ever since his time, Republicans have been convinced that charisma is king. And, as a friend recently told me, “When liberals continuously deride her, many conservatives take it as an attack upon themselves.” That’s a powerful rallying mechanism. Nominating Palin is a way for conservatives to stick it to Eastern elites.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the Republicans would win; Goldwater certainly didn’t. If Obama is going to be tough to beat, the question becomes almost a philosophical one: If you’re going to lose anyway, is it better to lose atop the horse you really want to ride?
If you ask me (and if you are still reading this then you have done so by default), based on Lewis’ assumptions, Mitt Romney will be the candidate of choice for the Republican party.
Sure, he’s not perfect, but what candidate is? It’s not necessarily that he will win over the hearts and minds of the GOP faithful. Rather, it’s that he’s a better choice than Sarah Palin. For one glaring reason…
Sarah Palin quit her job. Period. All Mitt Romney has to do is run ads that say, ‘I finished the job in Massachusetts — you may not always agree with me, but at least you know that I’ll stick around’.
Game. Set. Match.