In 2008, I supported John McCain in his campaign for POTUS vs. Barack Obama, but it wasn't without reservation. He has always been unreliable, often discarding conservative principles in favor of currying favor from the press.
On balance, I thought, he was a far better alternative to the inexperienced, very liberal, Barack H. Obama.
And he was.
But there was a better one, and his name was Mitt Romney.
Sure, he had a few missteps, was mistrusted by some religious/social conservatives, but he was right on all the important things--foreign policy (Iraq, War on Terror, NKorea, Iran, etc.), fiscal policy (less government, lower taxes, less regulation, etc.), and the social issues (family, marriage, abortion, stem-cell research etc.).
So he was a "convert" on the last point (abortion), so what? So was Ronald Reagan. Don't we want to persuade everyone to value the rights of the unborn? Anyway, that's an old argument. Hopefully one we've moved past.
At CPAC, Romney gave an excellent speech. I wrote a bit about it in my review of CPAC Day 3.
You can read the full text of his speech here.
NRO's editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez, wrote an excellent article about the state of conservatism and some of the dustups between Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, and others. But most of the article is about Mitt and the possibility that he runs for President in 2012.
It's tough to look 4 years into the future; if we face the same problems we are today--that is to say, if we have yet to fully overcome them--Mitt could be part of the solution. I like Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin. But how about Romney-Petraeus?
Does that sound like a ticket you'd be interested in?
I don't think anyone else could put forward two more qualified people to deal with all the many problems this country faces right now. Seriously, does anyone have any confidence that Obama can lead us out of this economic quagmire?
The markets sure don't seem to think so. Their daily tracking poll (a constant downward spiral) leaves little doubt. Mitt Romney made a career of this sort of thing. Balancing budgets, restoring profitability, rooting out waste and inefficiency--that's his niche.
And though the model has been derided, how confident would you feel if Petraeus, in the Dick Cheney mould of VP, helped to shape our long- & short-term foreign policy goals? Instead of a complete idiot--Joe Biden (God love 'im)--you would have the guy who literally wrote the counter-insurgent book and has spearheaded our warfighting effort in Iraq and now, Iraq & Afghanistan. Do you think anyone knows how to defend America better than General Petraeus?
Most of this is just rambling speculation and wishful thinking, clearly. Right now I'm focused on 2009--hoping for a Republican win in New Jersey--and 2010--House, Senate & nationwide gubernatorial races.
With any luck, 2010 will look a little like 1994, and 2012 will resemble 1980. Remember, Ronald Reagan lost in the 1976 Republican primary before finally winning it all in 1980.
Romney could do a lot worse than following Reagan's example.
If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.