As everyone’s been saying ad nauseam, there’s been no ideal conservative in the GOP race all along. A more energetic, gung-ho Fred might have changed the score, but there was nothing in his past career to suggest he was up to it. So now conservatives are stuck with someone they loathe on most fronts and aren’t likely ever to warm to. The feeling is no doubt mutual. What a contrast to 2000, when they and Bush reached a happy accommodation in order to win. It’s no accident that marriage ended once Bush was safely re-elected. If victory is a common goal this time, something similar will occur, though without any of the warmth (and illusions) of eight years ago.