Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan endorsed Mitt Romney today. As one of Michigan’s highest profile business successes this would be news in itself, but it is far more important than just another keen observer of the economy recognizing Romney’s qualifications to serve as president.
Monaghan is a Catholic’s Catholic, the founder of Ave Maria University and Law School, and one of the forces behind Legatus, an organization of senior Catholic business leaders. He is an ardent pro-lifer, and a man deeply concerned with rescuing the culture.
Monaghan’s decision to announce today is a clear signal to social conservatives that it is time to chose and get in the game, first in Michigan and then South Carolina, Nevada and Florida in an effort to save the GOP from capture by the anti-conservative John McCain and the neopopulist Mike Huckabee.
Many leaders of the value voters have stayed on the sidelines, buffeted by conflicting pressures and a sometimes noisy anti-Mormon fringe. They may stay there, but if they do and the presidency is lost and with it the Surpreme Court, their inactivity in January 2008 will be a heavy burden to bear. Monaghan apparently knows this and is leading the way that social conservatives should follow.
There is no way Romney should retire from this race before Super Tuesday no matter how many Beltway-Manhattan pundits want him out. The conservatives are not going to surrender their party, and they want a chance to say so at the ballot box. As the upheaval on the Democratic side showed yesterday, there are many surprises in store for pollsters and pundits in the new media age of politics. By February 5, a thoroughly disgusted core of Republican activists from the center-right will be mobilized across the country to keep their party on the path established by the Reagan-Bush coalitions.