Does Mitt Romney have the GOP presidential nomination wrapped up?
One by one, Mitt Romney's GOP rivals have taken runs at him, trumpeting his failures as a true conservative and his flip-flopping. But one by one, they’ve stumbled, and at the moment the race for the GOP nomination seems like Romney’s to lose.
It’s looking more and more like Mitt Romney has the Republican presidential nomination in the bag.Skip to next paragraph
One by one, his declared GOP rivals have taken runs at him, trumpeting his failures as a true conservative (see “Romneycare” with its dreaded individual mandate when he was governor of Massachusetts) and his flip-flopping on such issues as abortion, climate change, and the auto industry bailout (see http://mittromneyflipflops.com/).
Sometimes they’ve gotten him hot under his normally well-starched collar, as Rick Perry did on immigration in last week’s debate when he accused Romney of the “height of hypocrisy” – a charge you might think would be reserved for something a little more important than who a lawn care contractor hired.
But one by one, they’ve stumbled – Perry on immigration himself, his family’s hunting camp with its racist name, and a prominent evangelical supporter’s slur about Romney’s Mormon religion; Herman Cain’s own flip-flopping on abortion, the holes in his “9-9-9” economic plan, and an apparent lack of knowledge on foreign affairs.
Cain jokes about being "the flavor of the month" (he identifies with Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut). But there’s truth to the ice cream imagery, especially the tendency to melt. Ask Michele Bachmann, once thought to be the tea party favorite – until Perry and then Cain rose in the polling charts, knocking her down to single digits.
Libertarian Ron Paul always will be a special case, and he can do well in straw polls – especially when organized bunches of his enthusiastic followers show up to vote. But really, try to imagine a Republican presidential candidate these days who would not support a constitutional ban on abortion, who would cut defense spending by nearly a billion dollars, or who would end all US aid to Israel. Hard, isn’t it?
(“Typical mainstream media view!” I hear Paul supporters crying. Guilty as charged.)