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On Romney's apparent decision to quit the race

February 7, 2008

In light of the Super Tuesday results, I welcome Mitt's apparent decision to "suspend" his campaign, beginning today (provided that "suspend" means "end").

One of my biggest worries as this primary season has worn on was not that a candidate with the resources, ambition, and nebulous core of Mitt Romney would win the nomination, but that he would lose it and still refuse to get out of the race.

A man with the resources of "Mittney" could afford to stay in and dog the frontrunner (and official nominee) all the way up to the convention. This would have kept the GOP in the state of turmoil it is currently experiencing, and would have very effectively prevented the base and the coalition from beginning to repair the wounds inflicted upon it by this primary season (which I suspect are far deeper and far more lasting than most will allow themselves to admit), and coalescing around our eventual nominee.

If Romney drops out today -- thereby putting the nation and the Party above his great personal ambition -- then I will have more respect for him personally, as he will have done more good for us all with this act than he has throughout his constantly-morphing-depending-on-audience campaign.

The "real conservatives" who have supported Romney because of his 2006-present positions can take heart at this turn of events: he now has some time he can use to show that those newfound conservative positions are real, so that he can re-enter public life a few years down the road with some actual bona fides, not just his words and a recently-changed tune.

And, if he can't do that, and reverts to the left-of-center Mitt Romney that existed for the 59 years before this race, well, it's a good thing we didn't end up with nominee who abandons conservatism at the first sign of adversity. At least, that's what I think.

Update: Yep, it's true. Mitt gave one heck of a farewell speech at CPAC -- great prose, outstanding delivery -- and his campaign is now over. It's time for the GOP to begin attempting to repair its wounds and coalescing behind Sen. John McCain.

For Mitt, if this speech can serve as a jumping-off point to proving those conservative beliefs over the next few years, he can look at potentially setting himself up as the heir to a one-term McCain presidency.


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