Prowler, I have the same reaction you did to Hugh Hewitt's spit-take inducing statement about a three man race in NH "with little room for new candidates."
I've been reading Hugh Hewitt for a long time. I was tremendously bothered by his ridiculous Harriet Miers shilling and probably would be more open to Romney if Hewitt wasn't pushing him like some herbal remedy for hair regrowth.
I'll just lay it on the line and be prepared for rebuke if some of the other bloggers at TAS want to offer it:
For quite a while I was puzzled by Hugh's decision to write a book about Romney becoming the first Mormon president. After all, there's really no strong evidence that Romney is even a major candidate, yet. He has money, yes, but so did Phil Gramm, and he didn't last long at all.
To me, the newly published book is a market decision rather than the product of any cold political analysis that honestly believes Romney will win.
Romney will benefit because the book takes him seriously as "the" top tier candidate, "the" guy who will be the first Mormon president. Mormons are an underserved market in the U.S., much like evangelicals used to be. They are likely to buy the book in droves as a matter of religious pride and as a step toward mainstreaming the LDS faith. Hewitt and the publisher will benefit by selling a lot of books.
When Hewitt writes these over-the-top posts like the one about NH being a three man race "with little room for new candidates" his credibility takes a big hit. We all know that a guy like Fred Thompson would be a "new candidate" who would rather quickly change the landscape in NH or in other states and that there is not "little room" for him.
It's unseemly for a guy who spends so much time dogging the MSM for their lack of objective reporting to engage in so much UN-objective boosterism.
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