Mitt Romney suspended his faltering presidential campaign on Thursday, effectively sealing the Republican presidential nomination for John McCain. "I must now stand aside, for our party and our country," Romney told conservatives.
"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.Romney's decision leaves McCain as the top man standing in the GOP race...
Pretty wild times in American politics, y'all. I wonder what had to have happened behind the scenes to precipitate such a radical decision? What sort of maneuverings and conversations took place amongst the Republican candidates that led the strong second-place candidate to drop out so suddenly?
Now, let me look into my crystal ball. Here are my predictions for the events of the next few weeks:
McCain will release a statement about the unity of the party, and declare Huckabee as his running mate, thereby securing the Southern Republicans and social conservatives he's had a hard time courting so far (and simultaneously consummating their heretofore only hinted-at relationship). Once Huckabee is on the McCain ticket, Romney will formally endorse them, and go into hiding for awhile to let the spotlight be on "McCain/Huckabee for President!" which will consolidate and strengthen their position and put pressure on Clinton and Obama to present a united Democratic front while still competing against each other (uhh... don't hold your breath for that one). The big Republican line for this upcoming election will then be one of the unity, cooperation, and like-mindedness of conservatives contrasted with the divisiveness and infighting of liberals.
Oh, and look for Romney to get a pretty cushy position somewhere in the McCain/Huckabee staff if they end up moving their digs to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in early 2009.
The more I think about this move of Romney's, the more I think he (or somebody!) is crazy like a fox to do this. This party consolidation and momentum is absolutely the only thing that gives the Republicans a snowball's chance in Gehenna to get their man in the White House. Just think how a unified McCain/Huckabee ticket this early in the race puts the Dems on the defensive. This is a strategic move that was brokered by some incredibly savvy politicos.