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Romney v. McCain v. Coulter v. Obama

Friday, February 1, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

If Ann Coulter’s declares again that she’d campaign for Hillary at CPAC, she will be booed and rightly so. Not only did her grandstanding on Hannity & Colmes divert attention from the real issue before conservatives –the need to abandon the idea of voting for Huckabee or Paul and rally to Romney– she further fractures an already deeply divided GOP.

I have no doubt that most of the anti-McCain voices and voters will throw in with him if he is the nominee, but he doesn’t have to be the nominee. MSM narratives aside, it is far from over and requires really only one or two come-from-behind wins in Super Tuesday states like Georgia or Tennessee or a strong showing in California for Romney to suddenly and certainly be the front-runner in Virginia, Texas and Ohio and other post-2/5 states. Conservatives who are (1)confident that the GOP’s core beliefs are conservative and (2)confident that the GOP’s base is tuned in to the news and informed on the races, should thus have confidence that voters in those states and beyond understand the choice before them and will vote accordingly.

The polls being trumpeted by MSM are even older than the ones its members confidently clutched on the morning of the New Hampshire primary when they were burying Hillary under the Obama landslide –the landslide that of course never came.

Yesterday was the first of five days of continual conversations across America about the reality of the choice facing Republicans. It took a little bit longer for those sorts of conversations to destroy the prospects of the McCain-Kennedy immigration “reform” in the spring of 2007, but right now you can hear the same sort of giant “no” building on the right.

But it has to be a rational “no,” and Coulter’s outburst wasn’t rational.

Rush, Sean and others have been articulating the reasons behind the decision to (1) strongly favor Romney over McCain, and (2) abandon Huckabee or Paul immediately. Romney favors victory in the war as does McCain, but Romney also favors tax cuts, the end of the death tax, entitlement reform, originalist judicial picks in the mold of Roberts and Alito, and exploration in ANWR while opposing Z Visas and the climate change hysteria that infuses McCain-Lieberman.

There is a compelling case for voting for Romney over McCain, and it got even more compelling with news that Obama raised a stunning $32 million in January, while John McCain was struggling to gather in $7 million. It will be very, very difficult to defeat Barack Obama with an old face from inside the Beltway, even one with the heroism and courage that John McCain embodies. To beat this phenomenon –there is much to write about why it exists and what it represents later– will require communication skills, energy, and yes lots of money, far beyond what Senator McCain can likely muster.

I’ll sign up for McCain if he is the nominee, but it will be with the same sort of sense of gloom that pervaded the Dole campaign in 1996.

Which is why Rush, Sean, and Laura, Beck, Levin and Hewitt are right, and Arnold, Rudy, and Rick Perry are wrong: Conservatives have to decide right now if they will fight for Romney and the party of Reagan against the MSM-generated McCain resurrection. I think they will, and that Super Tuesday will be one for the books with surprises as great as the chattering class has had to digest in a long, long time.

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