Thursday, December 13, 2007

National Review Endorses Romney

The editors at National Review magazine have endorsed Mitt Romney for President. See their reasons here.

They argue each candidate's strengths and weaknesses, and decide that Mitt Romney is the most conservative candidate with a chance to win nationally. However, I found their argument against Fred Thompson (both Jim & I prefer Thompson) a bit weak:

Fred Thompson is as conservative as Romney, and has distinguished himself with serious proposals on Social Security, immigration, and defense. But Thompson has never run any large enterprise — and he has not run his campaign well, either. Conservatives were excited this spring to hear that he might enter the race, but have been disappointed by the reality. He has been fading in crucial early states. He has not yet passed the threshold test of establishing for voters that he truly wants to be president.

First of all, Fred Thompson isn't as conservative as Romney, he's more conservative than Romney. They admit that Thompson has come up with some pretty good ideas on the most important issues in the country, but seem to think that the fact that he is not a professional politician negates that. Have any of the others articulated a plan for Social Security the way he has? I haven't heard it...perhaps they're afraid of the issue because they know what a hot button it is. As a side note, I would relish the opportunity to watch him mop the floor with Hillary Clinton, or any of the Democrat candidates, in a debate.

It seems to me that NR is "settling" for Romney. Don't get me wrong, I will enthusiastically support Romney if he wins the nomination. However, I believe Fred Thompson is by far the best choice for the party, and more importantly, the country.

JASmius adds: I can understand NR's criteria. What they're basically saying is not that Romney is the most conservative candidate in the field (he isn't), but that he's the most conservative candidate in the field with bona fide executive experience. The latter is documented; the former is, shall we say, conveniently recent, and has the high likelihood of disappointing conservatives a few years from now in a way very similar to the disappointment the Right has expressed in George W. Bush the past few years should the Mittster ultimately make it to the White House.

Where this blog differs from the flagship of right-wing publications is in how sold we are on Mitt Romney's conservatism. That bloom-off-the-rose dynamic appears to be kicking in the minds of GOP voters in Iowa and South Carolina and several other early states, which can't be good news for the Romneylans, which is why their Praetor is playing up the NR endorsement so much.

The enigma is how Mike f'ing Huckabee, another former governor who is less conservative than Romney, can possibly be the beneficiary of the ex-Massachusetts governor's slide instead of Ready Freddie.

'Tis a pity, I guess, that FDT didn't run for governor of Tennessee instead of the Senate. He'd be running away with the race by now.