The Washington Post

Friday question answered

On Friday I asked whether Mitt Romney’s health-care speech helped his presidential prospects. No reader thought it did. I don’t imagine there are many (any?) in the conservative base who felt reassured by his defense of the individual mandate and insistence that his plan in Massachusetts was very different than ObamaCare.

Right Turn readers didn’t let Romney down easy. The opening lines said it all. DonMega: “Even though much of the establishment media deems Romney to be the Republican front runner, the truth is that his candidacy is moribund.” The StatistQuo: “He did not help himself, whatsoever.” StevenDufresne: “Romney was dead on arrival anyway.” Jack43: “When your biggest fan is the Obama White House (chiming in on RomneyCare), that’s not a good thing.” Gilliesproust: “If Republicans want to ‘phone it in’ and focus on winning the Senate, Mitt is the perfect, perfectly respectable losing candidate.” You get the drift. (Kudos to all on the fine ledes.)

Johnhiggins1990 had this important insight: “Passing RomneyCare in 2006 could be forgiven. However, denying the negative consequences of RomneyCare is the kind of thing that makes me want to vote for ‘anybody [but] Romney.’” This is precisely why, I would suggest, so many conservatives thought worse of Romney after the speech.

Larry 3435 reluctantly pronounces last rites on the Romney candidacy. “Mitt has no path to the GOP nomination. He was tarred as a flip-flopper on abortion in 2008, and feels he cannot flip again on his signature legislation. He can’t run on it, and he can’t run away from it. The moral of the story is, being a successful Republican governor in a deep blue state is not the road to the Presidency. Too bad – Mitt is so much smarter than the rest of them.” Perhaps, but smarts is not the same as wisdom, and some very smart men have been very bad presidents.

I would note, however, that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may be the “successful Republican governor in a deep blue state” exception that proves the rule. Of course, he’d have to run first.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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