What is the significance of Mitt Romney winning both CPAC and the Maine Caucus?

Romney's victory at CPAC reveals clearly that there are exactly three (and only three) core principles animating modern day conservatives:

  1.    Any Democrat in office, no matter how moderate or conservative, is the biggest problem in the world.

  2.    Barack Obama, even if he governed exactly like Ronald Reagan, is a European/African-style Socialist/Communist/Muslim and must be removed from office by any means necessary.

  3.    Getting and holding onto presidential power is all that matters for Republicans.
There...that's it. That is the total sum of conservative beliefs in 2012 in America. If you thought the list included something like smaller government or lower deficits then you are an ignorant rube who just fell off of a turnip truck.

If you doubt me, just look at someone like Ann Coulter. A year ago she was proclaiming that Mitt Romney stood for nothing and was a guaranteed loser to Obama. Now, she heartily endorses Romney and predicts he will beat Obama. What's changed in a year?

The change was that the Republicans couldn't get any talented politicians to run for President. And now they are left with Mitt Romney plus three other candidates who are such unappealing extremists, psychopaths, homophobes or just out and out drooling fanatics that they are guaranteed to lose 50 states to Obama. So now Romney, for whatever his flaws (and the list gets longer and bigger every day) appears to be the only GOP candidate who won't lose 50 states. So of course Coulter, a majority of the party elders, and a plurality of CPAC have all fallen in line behind Romney because if you look at the list of core values (above), Romney is the only one who helps with value number 3.

So this leads us to Maine and the broader political landscape. Yes, Rick Santorum is leading Romney by 15 points in nationwide polls and yes that's embarrassing to Romney. Yes, Romney got even fewer votes in Maine than he did four years ago and almost lost to the loony Ron Paul and that is embarrassing.

But these things just don't matter. Here's why:

While Rick Santorum still looks like a nice young man not-named Mitt Romney, Santorum doesn't have the political skills to organize himself out of a brown paper bag. Santorum has seemingly devoted himself to three big ideas in his life 1. Stopping gays from having sex. 2. Reducing the chances of heterosexuals from having sex by restricting the availability of birth control, and 3. Punishing people for having sex by making it impossible for them to have abortions.

Most national Democrats and national political commentators are too polite to say it, but here's the truth about Rick Santorum: he is a sex-obsessed pervert and there is no way a national party that lusts for power is ever going to nominate this loser.
Romney let Santorum have a little fun this week by winning some meaningless, non-delegate allocating primaries and caucuses, but if it's one thing that everyone can agree on regarding Romney is that he knows numbers and he knows how to count. Team Romney is going to figure out to the dollar how many negative ads they need to run against Santorum in every single state so that Romney can come out ahead, even if it's by one vote, of Santorum (or Gingrich if he re-emerges). So it's not impossible for Santorum to actually see his 15 point national polling lead over Romney to grow to 20 or even 25 points and yet still lose nearly every significant primary as the campaign rolls along.

Romney understands that if he gets 1144 delegates, he will win the GOP nomination. And it just doesn't matter if no one in the party likes him or is enthusiastic. It doesn't matter if other politicians in his party remain more popular. It doesn't matter if the other candidates hate his guts. If Romney gets the nomination he will be running against an incumbent who has an unemployment rate over 8% and Romney reasons he will have a better than 50% shot at being the next President. And Romney also correctly understands that nobody in his party really stands for anything other than hating Obama and gaining power so the Party will, in fact, rally around him in the fall. Romney also understands that in any given state, his team (through the power of his super PACs) has the power to attack and destroy anybody who is ahead of him in the polls, so that Romney can win the vast majority of primaries. And given the number of states that still allot delegates on a winner take all basis, it is only a matter of time, mathematically, before Romney wins the number of delegates to garner the nomination, no matter how many ugly 36% to 35% victories he has to suffer.

And that's why nothing that happened in the last week has changed the fundamental dynamics of the GOP race for President.

more at www.americanlp.org

< Romney's Economics | Daily National News briefing 2/17 >
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