“As first reported by New Hampshire’s Union Leader, eight-term state Rep. Norman Major, R-Plaistow, is now endorsing Romney after he said he ‘realized [Perry] isn’t going to beat Obama,’ according to the paper…

“‘[Perry] has a lot of good credentials, but I guess he needs to go through what Romney went through last time and get that experience of running for president,’ Major said in the interview. ‘That way he will be more presidential and think more nationally.

“‘All the answers don’t come from Texas,’ he added. ‘If he develops more of a national expertise, he’ll go far.'”

***

“‘Consistency I think is very important,’ he said, ‘You may not agree with me on everything, but you don’t have to wake up in the morning and wonder is Rick Perry going to be the same guy in two years that he was two years ago. And the answer to that is yup, he will be.’

“Pressed by hosts to criticize Romney by name, Perry said Romney has changed positions on gun rights and the Obama-passed health care law.

“‘Like it or not, the governor has been on opposite sides on a lot of issues,’ Perry said. ‘He was for banning handguns, now he’s Mr. Second Amendment. He was the father of Obamacare.'”

***

“‘You can’t be a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day,’ Huntsman said. ‘Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership.’

“‘I do believe that the electorate this go around will be looking for clearly defined presidential leadership and I’m not sure we’re seeing that,’ Huntsman added.”

***

“Herman Cain skipped a RNC gala in Washington D.C. tonight to speak at the sold out Nueces County Republican Women’s Dinner in Corpus Christi. Following a private fundraiser in his honor, Cain talked about his 9-9-9 plan and railed against the Obama administration and a healthcare plan he said the American people did not want.

“‘Back in early 1990s’, Cain said, ‘I had to fight Hillarycare and be an outspoken voice against Hillarycare. During the passage of Obamacare, I had to fight Obamacare and he passed it anyway against the will of the people. So it seems as if many of my years have been fighting some kind of care. Hillarycare, Obamacare, and now I gotta fight Romneycare and get the nomination.'”

***

“The Hill asked two dozen House and Senate Democrats if they would prefer Rick Perry, Mitt Romney or Herman Cain to face Obama in the 2012 general election…

“Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said, ‘I think [Perry is] the weaker candidate. I think Romney has avoided some of the more obnoxious elements of the extremism, so I think Romney would be a stronger candidate.’

“‘From a purely selfish point of view I’d like it to be Perry, but for the history of the country and the existence of the Republican Party, they better pick Romney,’ said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.). ‘We can beat Romney, but he at least makes this not a joke.'”

***

“In one of the more straightforward questions of the 11 the former governor was asked this evening, a man from Londonderry, N.H., asked if Romney was ‘willing to upset a lot of countries to take care of America first.’

“‘The answer is yes,’ said Romney. ‘And you may say, ‘Well, prove it.’ It’s hard to prove but I can tell you this: I don’t have a career in politics. This, for me, is not the next step in my political career to run for president. As you know, I was governor for four years and I point out that I didn’t inhale.’…

“‘I’m in this race because I’m very concerned about the country we’re going to give to my kids and my grandkids,’ he said. ‘I’m not willing to go down as a member of the worst generation.'”

***

“Obama, a floundering naif who thinks ATMs aggravate unemployment, is bewildered by a national tragedy of shattered dreams, decaying workforce skills and forgone wealth creation. Romney cannot enunciate a defensible, or even decipherable, ethanol policy…

“Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming.

“Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from ‘data’ (although there is precious little to support Romney’s idea that in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants is a powerful magnet for such immigrants) and who believes elections should be about (in Dukakis’s words) ‘competence,’ not ‘ideology.’ But what would President Romney competently do when not pondering ethanol subsidies that he forthrightly says should stop sometime before “forever”? Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for this?

***

***

“Another worry I have is that Mitt Romney would be the excuse for a third party challenge from the right, and the people who want that don’t need too much in the way of excuse anyway.

“Not that I would support that — I would certainly support Romney and bitterly oppose those who have chosen to give the election to Obama, in hopes of teaching us yet another lesson. (We were already taught several lessons on the Senatorial level.)

“But I do fear that as a possibility.”

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