With talk of a Republican convention where Rick Santorum will, at a minimum, have the kind of leverage Ronald Reagan did against Jerry Ford in 1976, what will the conservative demands be on Mitt Romney?
From a great piece of reporting by The Washington Post this revelation: Conservatives are suggesting that to unite the party, Romney should appoint Santorum as attorney general, John Bolton as secretary of state and Newt Gingrich as ambassador to the United Nations. This wouldn’t just be a team of rivals; it would be a trio of the apocalypse. This is a sneak preview of the kind of pressure that will build on Romney as he wins weakly.
Consider Bolton. Wildly reviled as being part of the crowd who saw only certainty in the Iraq intelligence and pushed our nation relentlessly to war, he couldn’t even be confirmed as the ambassador to the United Nations, an institution he says should not even exist. The Senate opposition was bipartisan, although he made it on a recess appointment. You think Bolton could be confirmed as secretary of state?
Slightly less ridiculous: Gingrich as U.N. ambassador. While he has made some valid criticisms of the institution in the past, he is more like a bomb threat than an ambassador.
Most fantastic of all these right wing suggestions — suggestions that could become demands — is the thought of Attorney General Santorum. Like another infamous attorney general from Pennsylvania, named Alexander Mitchell Palmer, who was J. Edgar’s favorite by the way, Santorum would have a badge and guns to go after his cultural enemies. Anyone for raids on Planned Parenthood?
Conservatives believe Romney can’t win without them. They will have real leverage at the convention, and that can lead to some wild considerations. Anyone for a Romney-Santorum co-presidency?