Romney’s McCain Endorsement

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The way I see it, Romney had no choice but to endorse McCain.

Why?

McCain leads a large chunk, indeed, a majority of the Republican Party. After all, he won the primary in 2008. This is no minor feat, no matter what your political persuasion is.

If Romney did anything but endorse McCain, he would have said to McCain’s supporters, “I don’t like you, and I don’t need you to win in 2012.”

With the endorsement, he is paying due respects to the majority of the Republican Party, and telling McCain, “I promise to ensure that your people will not be shut out of the new Republican Party.”

This is important. The Republican Party is bigger than the conservative movement. It’s bigger than McCain and Romney and Palin and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and pretty much anything you can name. The Republican Party is a coalition of various political factions, each of whom share a lot but disagree on a lot as well. They’ve all chosen, for one reason or another, to be an influential part of the platform. If you are going to take control of such an organization, which the presidential nominee in 2012 must, you have to make it clear that you aren’t going to drive anyone away from the party even though you are going to move your own agenda forward as much as possible.

Right now, the “old guard” of the Republican Party, call them the “Rockefeller Republicans” or whatever you want, feels like they are going to be shut out by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ron Paul and the Tea Party movement. There is a very real fear here. There is a real possibility of alienating them and losing a good chunk of the vote. Ronald Reagan was a master at politics, and he made sure that no one left the Republican Party. Mitt Romney must do the same. That means he must reach across the aisle that divides the Republican Party and lift up McCain in his hour of need, even if it means giving a cold shoulder to the new movements.

Think of it this way. Could Ronald Reagan have united the Republican Party behind himself if he didn’t pay his due respects to President Ford? Of course not.

If McCain loses the primary despite Palin’s and Romney’s support, at least then he can throw his weight behind the winning candidate, along with everyone else. McCain might not be into it, but McCain’s people might.

Rush is fine calling Romney to the carpet on this. In fact, it’s a good thing that Romney is being excoriated by the new Republican Party over this. It’s good because if Romney can then turn around and take control of their part of the party, then he can show that he is able to moderate both sides of the aisle and make them both feel welcome.

This is what political leadership is about. This is the true art of statecraft. We have come to believe that being a leader means being Conan the Barbarian—brutally destroying anything in your path to obtain the things you want. That’s what Obama is trying to do, and have you noticed? It’s not working.

The art of political leadership is the art of getting people to line up behind you because you offer them something they need and because they trust you. It’s the art of persuading people that what you want is what they want, that by uniting together under a common cause they can do more than if we were divided and set at opposition to each other.

If Mitt Romney is going to be president, which I believe he will be, he is going to have to unify the entire country at the expense of some, but definitely not most, democrats, and perhaps a tiny number of liberal republicans. He has to make sure he has a super-majority behind his efforts or they will all fail as Obama is.

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One Response to “Romney’s McCain Endorsement”

  1. John Cronin Says:

    Great article, very well written. I think you nailed it, this endorsement is not the end of Western Civilization as some Mittheads seem to think, but just very savvy political strategy.

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