In their effort to find an alternative to Mitt Romney, some conservative pundits are musing about a stalemated primary or that proverbial deadlocked convention we’ve all been longing for these many decades. I certainly have been sympathetic, and indeed I was among those urging other candidates to get into the race. But it’s not happening, and Republicans need to get real and make their choice from among the existing candidates.
One of those some pundits still pine for (and for very good reason, considering his experience, conservative credentials and character) is former Florida governor Jeb Bush. But he was emphatic yesterday, telling Right Turn, “Republicans will be choosing from the candidates currently in the race.” No, he’s not going to save Republicans from the task of choosing among imperfect candidates. No, there is not going to be anyone else to step in either.
And when you think about it, elections (with the exception perhaps of the 2000 general presidential election) never remain in equipoise. Sooner or later, the race tips one way or another. Slowly the tectonic plates shifted in the 2008 Democratic primary, and Barack Obama moved steadily ahead of Hillary Clinton. At some point, the field narrows, and one candidate gets the better of the competition.
It does seem rather mind-boggling that the hard-core GOP base couldn’t come up with better anti-Romney candidates. But there is no Newt Gingrich without the baggage and the character flaws. There is no super-knowledgable Herman Cain. We don’t have a Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) who’s within the bounds of reason on foreign policy. The candidates are who they are, and soon Iowa, New Hampshire and the rest will select from among them. I suspect voters in those states are far more aware than the chorus of pundits that the nominee will be one of the contenders on the ballot on Election Day, and that an irresponsible choice will consign Republicans and the country to four more years of President Obama.