The EFM Feature

In watching the Governor’s excellent “Care of Liberty” speech before the Heritage Foundation, I’m reminded once again of an argument we made throughout the 06-08 campaign season: Mitt Romney is a full-spectrum conservative.
I know I’m whistling into the wind here, but I would like Republican primary voters in 2012 to concentrate on something other than the issue of the day when deciding their nominee. When Senator McCain and Governor Romney were battling in Florida before Super Tuesday, Iraq questions dominated. When Governor Huckabee pulled his upset in Iowa, social issues mattered most.
Then, months later, just as it became apparent even to the anti-war Left that the Iraq war had turned a corner, the stock market imploded, our homes suddenly were worth nine cents, and it became clear that General Motors had hit the iceberg. Does that mean that Governor Romney would have won the nomination had the economy tanked just a few months earlier? Would the electorate have wheeled away from focusing on who’d been pro-life longer or who’d supported the surge first and asked “Who can save my house and 401k?” One can never really know, but my own suspicion is that both McCain and Huckabee would have faded pretty quickly in the midst of a financial crisis.
As it was, we were left with essentially a single-issue candidate responding to a crisis that was way, way outside his wheelhouse. And what was John McCain’s answer to this comprehensive economic crisis? Let’s cancel a debate. No, wait, let’s not. And by the way, drill, baby, drill!
It is simply a fact that at any given moment we cannot anticipate the issues that will dominate the news even four months from now. We can perhaps predict long term trends, but the dominant news story? Definitely not. That’s why a wise electorate must “interview” a presidential candidate much like they would a prospective CEO of their own employer, where the question typically isn’t “what are you going to do about this one single issue?” but rather “Does he have the knowledge, skills, and temperament for the job?”
I think Governor Romney wins that kind of race, and it wouldn’t be close.

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