Let’s start with Arizona…. No surprise there, although the margin of victory is higher than I expected. As a winner-take-all state, this was a nice pickup for Romney. The bad news (minor at best) is that the other candidates didn’t really try in Arizona. The fact that it was winner-take-all didn’t really encourage the smaller candidates to put the money out. On the other hand, you have to wonder how that will impact them moving forward. From this point on, most of the states are winner-take-all states. If you can’t pick up the delegates now in the proportional states, you certainly won’t pick them up down the road.
On to Michigan….
I’m annoyed a bit at some of the reports right now. First, Santorum is claiming victory in the fact that he “barely” lost to Romney. To be fair, Romney won 36% to 33%. It’s narrow, but still respectable. And the reason I’m annoyed over Santorum’s claims? Because he acts like he didn’t have a double-digit lead just a week ago. Let’s call this what it is: A huge hit against Santorum. Even with his slimy calls to Democrats to vote for him to extend the race (and that’s exactly what it is!), he couldn’t hold his double-digit lead. Santorum lost and he lost big, especially for what he was supposed to do just a week ago.
But what truly gets me is an article like this one. Stanley claims Santorum is the better candidate. His proof? I don’t know…. I’m still trying to find it. Sure, he points out that Santorum pulls some demographics, but he has the utter gall to claim that the Democrats who crossed over did so to support Santorum. No they didn’t. They did it to vote against Romney. Santorum is so far to the right of the DNC. Look at the comments coming out of the primaries. One Dem voter said he needed to take a shower after voting for Santorum. A major state party leader claimed that he and many other Democrats would be drinking Pepto Bismol tonight. Those are not the words of supporters. Those are the words of people doing their best to stop a Romney nomination.
But my single favorite criticism against Romney that Stanley offers is this one:
In the last two weeks, Mitt has been branded as a “Massachusetts moderate” — who thinks it’s perfectly normal for a patriotic woman to own “a couple of Cadillacs.“
Really? That’s it?
Most Americans own several cars. Many of them own nice cars, Cadillac or otherwise. Guess what? The Romney’s were successful. Wildly successful. Since when is that a negative in a person? Isn’t that the dream? The Great American Dream.
To be fair, Stanley accurately notes that Romney still has a problem within the party itself. He’s still not building that broad based coalition of demographics. But let’s be real here for a second. A certain pair of candidates in 2008 also did this, and they carried the nomination process into June with their back and forth and tit for tat. That would be Obama and Clinton. The fact that Romney still hasn’t pulled it together doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t. The truth is that when push comes to shove, conservatives will vote for Romney over Obama. They will. The one caveat I’ll throw out there is if a third party comes in.
But other than that, Tim Stanley’s article is an exercise in nonsense. The claims? Irrelevant. The accusations? Trite. The accuracy? Minimal.
Santorum might be a solid candidate, but to claim he is better than Romney, especially on the national stage, is farcical on its face.