Mitt Romney

The only conservative left standing has dropped out of the presidential race. Tempting though it may be to hope for a miracle, the electoral numbers are clear: there’s no way Mitt Romney could overcome John McCain.

So what went wrong? How could a man with a full-spectrum conservative platform, renowned executive experience, and unmatched personal integrity not rise to the top of the Party of Reagan?

Certainly, Romney made mistakes. But the main answer, it seems, is that the Republican Party isn’t the Party of Reagan anymore.
As I said of Fred Thompson’s failure, conservatism has been on the back burner in the judgment of primary voters. The divide between conservatives and, frankly, the refuse from the “open tent” philosophy has been a battle within the GOP for years.

It is, however, a winnable battle. So why didn’t we win it this time? The Right has been burned in the past, especially in the wake of George W. Bush’s presidency, and many were no doubt wary of Romney’s past stances. So, despite Romney’s best efforts, many conservatives either kept him at arm’s length or dismissed him entirely. The presence of opponents with claims to different legs of the conservative stool—Rudy Giuliani on defense, Mike Huckabee on life & marriage, and Fred Thompson on limited government—served to further divide and conquer a normally-unified coalition.
I must admit, this hasn’t been easy for me to watch today. Obviously, the implications for conservatism are ugly. But in the year since I threw my support behind Mitt Romney, paying attention to him and the overall campaign, I also came to develop a very real respect and admiration for the governor. He is a true family man and patriot. He deserves the nation’s gratitude.

It’s fitting that Mitt Romney bowed out at the
2008 Conservative Political Action Conference—one year after electrifying the very same audience. In his speech, the governor pledged: “I will continue to stand for conservative principles. I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in.” The word is that he intends to run again in 2012. As one of the last men out in a crowded field, Romney has proven himself a formidable campaigner. Just imagine him after four more years of immersion in the conservative cause.

Mitt Romney is down. Conservatism is down. But neither is out: count on it.

2 thoughts on “Mitt Romney

  1. Mitt took a big step towards showing it’s all more than just talk today. If he shows a “walk the walk” approach over the next few years he’ll go a long ways towards gaining support of those who were wary of the conversion.The events of this primary truly say something of the state of the GOP and has been a wake-up call. While the battle may have been lost the war for returning to conservative roots has only just begun. And conservatism will prevail.


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