The EFM Feature

Thanks, David and Nancy, for broaching this important issue. Let me add my two cents briefly.
As I’ve pointed out many times before, I’m all for conservative alternatives in Senate races — when they make sense. I’ve supported Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania since before it was cool (early 2004 if not late 2003), I was for Steve Laffey in Rhode Island in 2006, and I’m for Marco Rubio in Florida now. I’m also no great lover of Sen. McCain. Like David, I did vote for him in 2008, but only with my nose firmly held. It was a tough choice. I don’t like many of his views, I can’t stand his bedside manner, and I thought he ran a lousy campaign.
With all of that said, I think Gov. Romney made the right choice, for two reasons.
The first is that this will help him get the GOP nomination in 2012. Flat-out, it will. The GOP nomination always goes to a good soldier, and by campaigning for Sen. McCain in 2008 and especially now, Gov. Romney is proving that he is one of those. Even if you totally disagree with his choice in the Arizona senatorial primary, if you want him to be president, you should be encouraged that he’s doing this.
The second is that process issues aside, I agree with his choice, even with my deep suspicion of Sen. McCain. Smart behavior in primaries does not simply involve picking the most conservative candidate. Rep. Hayworth is, as Jim Geraghty points out, marginally more conservative than Sen. McCain. But he also ran a lousy campaign in 2006, he’s got corruption allegations swirling around him (also noted in Geraghty’s post), and he has said some truly boneheaded stuff about the President’s birth certificate. I know that last point is going to invite some hate mail, but too bad. Strutting around and clucking about “just raising questions” about whether the President was born in the U.S. is both transparent (clearly the real message is that you don’t think he was, not that you’re just asking) and ridiculous. Gov. Romney has rightly chosen to oppose a candidate who’s done so.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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