It’s time for Republicans to move on with Mitt Romney as our nominee. I for one am encouraged by the prospects. It’s time to look past Rick Santorum. So this is the last time I will highlight the Romney-Santorum contest (maybe). I can’t say anything about their duel better than the prophetic Monty Python movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” from 1975. The clip, “Just a Flesh Wound,” perfectly captures the Romney-Santorum battle and its conclusion.
Romney now has work to do to consolidate the party and to define himself with a fresh perspective before the Obama campaign defines him. This will not be easy. He needs a few weeks with no mistakes, gaffes or distractions. He needs to work with Republican governors and congressional leadership to begin a coordinated message about the Obama presidency and the alternative that he wants to present. He shouldn’t strike out on his own and expect or hope other Republican voices will parrot what he says or simply fall in line. Outreach and coordination are still important. I think he’s off to a good start with his message last night where he talked about Barack Obama’s government-centered society, similar to what George Will has been writing regarding society’s growing dependence on government.
I asked Haley Barbour, after his eight years as a governor, including two years as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, if he thought the lines had crossed; do more people want something from the government, or do more people want to be left alone by the government? His answer was that more people want to be left alone, but the gap is closing quickly. This is a threshold issue that should be addressed in the 2012 election. Elections are meant to answer questions, and I can’t think of a more important decision for American society to make.