Philip Klein’s assessment of Mitt Romney’s prospects is spot on.
I particularly like Klein’s point about the immigration albatross that hung around John McCain’s neck until the McCain-Kennedy bill died. McCain not only benefited when the debate turned to Iraq but because he backed the surge not only when the Harry Reids of the world had declared the war lost but other GOP candidates were downright skittish on the matter.
Now as Klein also points out that unlike the immigration bill, Obamacare passed. Romney cannot escape the fact that he established a statewide health care program with an individual mandate. The only way Romney wins the GOP nomination is if someone or something changes the subject very dramatically. Klein suggests that another downturn in the economy which would be well suited to Romney’s business acumen. But who knows? Herman Cain has an impressive record in the private sector and could be a sleeper candidate. And if Donald Trump enters the race then all bets are off.
What Romney has to do is embrace a policy a) popular amongst conservatives and b) the other GOP candidates are, for whatever reason, hesitant to support. At the moment, it is difficult to see what that policy could be. But that’s essentially what Romney needs to do to win the nomination.
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