This post’s title comes courtesy of my brother-in-law, who wrote this article about Mitt Romney for the San Francisco Chronicle and called tonight to commiserate over Romney’s crushing defeat.
And, make no mistake, this is a crushing defeat. After spending millions more dollars than his rivals, Romney ekes out a distant second-place finish to an underfunded, unRepublican, anti-Mormon rube. He goes into next Tuesday’s battle in New Hampshire as a damaged candidate, facing a surging John McCain who has taken a decisive lead in the polls in a state where Romney was practically the sitting governor.
Romney, I believe, is finished.
He’ll probably stay in the race for a little while longer, and he can actually stay in as long as he likes, given his inexhaustible financial resources. But there’s no way he captures the national attention or regains any momentum. McCain now owns New Hampshire, and Huckabee will probably win South Carolina, and McCain will win everything else until Super Duper Tuesday, when Huckabee fades from view and McCain becomes the anti-Giuliani and coasts to the nomination.
And then, come November, say hello to President Obama. Which is less of a stomach-turning prospect than President McCain.
The thing that makes me ill is that this was due almost exclusively to Romney’s religion. Which means that those who make decisions about my political party loathe me solely on the basis of my faith. Nothing I can do about it – there’s no use in playing the victim, and, politically, I’ve got nowhere else to go. (What, like I’m going to be a Democrat?) But it probably means that I take a few steps back. If Republicans go down to defeat in 2008, they deserve it. They deserved it in 2006, too. I can’t get behind McCain. And I would campaign for Hillary before I would vote for Mike Huckabee.
The good news tonight is that Cornelius’ masterwork Fox Man II: Worm Man Returns won the district-wide Reflections Literature Award and now goes on to compete at Regionals. So take that, Huck. Enjoy your short-lived victory. It may not have cost you a lot of money, but I’m pretty sure it cost you a piece of your soul.