January 9, 2012


Is It Still Mitt's Turn? (ROBERT STACY MCCAIN, 1.9.12, American Spectator)

 J.D.'s Tavern at the Radisson Inn in Manchester was crowded Saturday night with the elite of America's political media. Famous faces from TV news mingled with less-famous but nevertheless influential writers from major publications. Waiters brought food and beverages -- and still more beverages -- as midnight passed in the hours after yet another nationally televised Republican presidential debate. One of the more famous bylines among the journalistic throng delivered a harshly negative verdict on the proceedings that had just aired on ABC.
"They were weak," said the writer. "They didn't bring it."

By "they," he meant the various challengers to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The pre-game forecast for Saturday night's debate was that the non-Romney conservatives would rush to attack the man who is the overwhelming favorite to win Tuesday's primary here in New Hampshire. But the promised assault on Romney -- in a debate that had been hyped up like a professional wrestling match -- never materialized, much to the disappointment of the journalist in J.D.'s Tavern.

"Look, I'm a reporter," he said. "You know I'd love this thing to go all the way to the convention, but... C'mon."

His point was that the other candidates, by missing opportunities to take the fight to Romney, had helped the well-funded frontrunner move perceptibly closer to becoming the inevitable GOP nominee. And it was hard to dispute his conclusion, despite my own hope -- one shared by most other conservatives -- that somehow this year the Republican Party can avoid its predictable habit of nominating the "It's His Turn" candidate.

...but Mr. Romney has benefited hugely from being the one candidate who has run before.

Posted by at January 9, 2012 6:37 AM

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