Short of a crown physically being placed on Mitt’s head, this is as close as we’re likely to get to an official coronation of him as the establishment choice in the primaries. I was giggling while watching it, trying to imagine his reaction as the most RINO-y president of modern times gives him a very public thumbs up, but actually this shouldn’t hurt much. The base is already lost to him thanks to RomneyCare, so the best he can hope for now is to consolidate his position among centrists/anti-Palinists. And the Bushes did him a major solid on that front: Not only do they both talk him up, but when pressed on other candidates they like, they mentioned only Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and Bobby Jindal (who almost certainly isn’t running). The omission of Mitch Daniels, a potential genuine threat to Romney, is conspicuous given Daniels’s service in Dubya’s administration. I wonder if that was mere absent-mindedness or a deliberate snub. Ah well. No mystery, though, as to why they failed to mention Palin; Barbara’s contempt for her, in particular, is obvious.
Incidentally, now that we’ve got the Bushes sniping at her and Karl Rove criticizing her show and her fans, does that make this hotly disputed Daily News piece from earlier this month any more credible? Palin supporters bristled at the idea that Dubya might have been privately critical of her, but I’m not sure why. Tea partiers are forever reminding us that the movement is as much a reaction to Bush 43 as it is to Obama; if the man behind TARP and years of ballooning deficits doesn’t think much of Palin, that only proves her conservative cred, no?