National Review Online has a fair, balanced, and reasonable editorial on our looming primary decision.
While giving credit to Newt’s positive characteristics, it has come to the same conclusion that I have. Not Newt.
I, like many other conservatives, have spent months searching for the anybody but Romney candidate. Newt’s comeback in the polls after a disastrous and what I thought fatal start is as startling as its effect on me. I am now searching for the anybody but Newt candidate.
Look, Newt is a smart fella and I can even relegate the marital peccadilloes to the past, but Newt is still Newt.
Romney will disappoint me, I know that. But Newt can/will destroy us (conservatives). Newt will blow up, either as a candidate or as a President and he will take the entire conservative movement with him. His hubris and his flightiness will end up alienating just about everyone. You know how I know this? Because that is what Newt always does.
While he had successes as Speaker, he ended up the most unpopular figure in the country, both left and right. As a pundit, he has done the same thing. And as a candidate, the same thing. Newt blows up. That is what Newt does.
Romney will disappoint me, I know that. He says many of the right things now, but his record is the stuff of schizoid legend. But even if Romney only believes half of what he now claims to believe and the rest is pandering, I might take that. At least the pandering recognizes there is a base he must satisfy. Newt doesn’t care because he knows he is smarter than me and you. It is we who must change our opinion before Newt changes his.
Romney is no conservative, I know that. But I think that I prefer the guy who at least pretends to be.
I am still a supporter of Santorum. Notwithstanding a dramatic showing in Iowa, I must accept that 4% is 4% and I might not have that choice. But if I had to choose between Newt and Mitt, I think I choose Mitt. Call it risk mitigation.