Despite widespread belief that no one candidate stands out for would-be Republican primary voters, another widespread belief holds that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is at least a frontrunner. One columnist thinks he knows why: The other candidates are helping his case.
“It seems pretty clear that Romney’s advisers think that (Michele) Bachmann cannot defeat him but can prevent anyone who can from emerging as the anyone-but-Romney candidate. (Tim) Pawlenty’s decline and Bachmann’s rise are thus both very good pieces of news for him,” Ramesh Ponnuru wrote for National Review Online. “If (Rick) Perry does not run, his toying with the idea will merely have helped Romney a little bit more by making it that much harder for a feasible alternative to gain momentum.”
In a separate column appearing in part on Romney’s campaign blog, Representative John Campbell (R-Calif.) seems to support Romney by default, ruling out other candidates for various reasons: “I don’t want another president who has to learn management and governance on the job. I don’t want another president who doesn’t really understand how capital creates jobs and how jobs reward capital. I don’t want another president without executive experience in both the public or private sectors. I don’t want another president who blindly follows some academic ideology without assessing the practicalities of the situation he or she faces.”
The National Review columnist concluded that Romney is by no means the ideal candidate, but he may the only electable one: “In recent weeks, Romney has gone from being a weak frontrunner to being the frontrunner, period. But the party is contemplating a marriage of convenience, not of love.”