Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Romney Victory Postmortem

Recent events in the Republican primary make this everyone's last opportunity in a while for Santorum jokes. But I feel that those comic possibilities have already been exhausted, so I'll move on to other things.

Congratulations are due to Mitt Romney on having won the Republican nomination. It's impressive that someone with his background as a moderate governor of Massachusetts could win the nomination in a Republican Party that was defeating its moderates, even at the cost of several Senate seats, in 2010. He was helped by a weak field (the result of Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008), and the deciding factor was his gigantic fundraising advantage which allowed him to bury competitors in important states with an avalanche of advertising, but winning the race still showed a great deal of political talent.

It'll take even more political talent to bounce back from two years of pandering to the GOP base to hit the right notes for the general election, and I don't know if Mitt has that in him. For example, his campaign didn't know whether he supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act. I think his numbers will move up in the next few days -- that's usually what happens when a primary ends and the party coalesces around the winner. But he's got a lot of work to do, and a candidate who spent the last two years trying to win the GOP nomination really isn't going to be in the mindset where he says the right things to win over moderate female voters.

Congratulations are also overdue to Jonathan Bernstein, who was optimistic about Romney when I and a lot of people weren't.
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