“Party elites” not so keen on Romney after all?

posted at 3:40 pm on January 24, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Nate Silver suggested in a column yesterday that the GOP establishment might not be as firmly in Mitt Romney’s camp as the anti-Mitt, anti-establishment crowd would like voters to think. According to Silver, endorsements from party officials are one measure of the elite appetite for a candidate — and, while Mitt Romney has more endorsements than any of his competitors, he has far fewer than historical precedent suggests he should have by this point in the primary. Silver postulates that some officials have hesitated to endorse because the possibility that another candidate will enter the race is always tantalizingly proffered by one pundit or another.

Andrea Mitchell recently made a comment that suggests Silver might be right that the GOP establishment is actually relatively cool toward Romney:

“I talked to a top Romney adviser tonight who said, ‘Look, if Mitt Romney can not win here in Florida then we’re going to have to try to reinvent the smoke-filled room which has been democratized by all these primaries. And we’re going to have try to come with someone as an alternative to Newt Gingrich who could be Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, someone.’ Because there is such a desperation by the so-called party elites, but that’s exactly what Gingrich is playing against.”

The other half of this theory is just as important, though: Just because “party elites” aren’t so keen on Romney doesn’t mean they aren’t still opposed to Gingrich. Indeed, Mitchell’s quote — if it is, in fact, an accurate reflection of the comments of a Romney adviser with insider information — suggests party leaders are most concerned to stop Gingrich.

It’s easy to become caught up in theories about the establishment, but, at some point, it’s helpful to remember the voters really are the ones to decide — and have a responsibility to decide for themselves. Better to focus on picking the best candidate than to worry about whether that candidate has been endorsed by the establishment and what that might say about the candidate’s hidden agenda. A voter voting against the establishment just for the sake of voting against the establishment is like the gal who does the opposite of whatever her mother tells her — even if she would have done exactly what her mom suggested had her mom not suggested it. In other words, to emulate Romney’s style of speaking, rebellion for the sake of rebellion only hurts the rebel rebelling.


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Nate Silver suggested in a column yesterday that the GOP establishment might not be as firmly in Mitt Romney’s camp as the anti-Mitt, anti-establishment crowd would like voters to think.

This statement suggests that the not-Mitts have some nefarious purpose in pointing out the pro-Mitt establishment. The GOP establishment decided to throw all of their weight behind Mitt, thinking his record was so moderate that he would be more able than others to draw indies, perhaps even moderate Dems. They knew that we would vote against Obama no matter what. There’s nothing wrong with this thinking. The GOP knew Mitt was not a good Republican candidate, but they decided the risk was worth it.

The problem was how they executed their strategy. They managed to offend all the not-Mitts by using Fox News. They even went so far to actually attack Newt before Romney did – a really stupid move. This had the effect of not only pushing people farther away from Mitt, but also creating distrust toward FNC.

They are now in panic mode. I’d like to know where the heck they were when many of us saw Obama coming in 2004. The GOP has to wake up and get their heads out of their behinds.

The Herman Cain attacks, as well as the Marianne interview were not attacks from the Dems. They were internal actions coming from our own party. And as nasty as you can get. Unless Newt wins FL. I wouldn’t have given him a chance to beat Romney there, but it looks like it is possible. It will be interesting to see the maneuvering (which has already begun w/ Daniels giving the SOTU response). If Mitch does well, will they throw Romney under the bus?

Connie on January 24, 2012 at 6:12 PM

So Mitt’s now the anti-establishment candidate. Cool!

Buy Danish on January 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Why would I come to Hot Air to read about Andrea Mitchell?

Where’s the remote?

ignatzk on January 24, 2012 at 6:53 PM

If Romney doesn’t win Florida he will be branded a loser. Florida is one of 2 remaining must wins. He loses Florida it will cripple him and the establishment. Romney alienated the Tea Party and Sarah Palin because he thought he could win without them. He can’t. Sarah Palin made the establishment’s life a lot harder.

CoolChange80 on January 24, 2012 at 7:17 PM

If Romney doesn’t win Florida he will be branded a loser. Florida is one of 2 remaining must wins. He loses Florida it will cripple him and the establishment. Romney alienated the Tea Party and Sarah Palin because he thought he could win without them. He can’t. Sarah Palin made the establishment’s life a lot harder.

CoolChange80 on January 24, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Exactly right! I’ve seen all the articles (and Harry Reid comments) about the Tea Party drying up and blowing away. Not so much, they just aren’t seeing the Not Mitts for who we are – they are so used to a 2D digital blue-red world it’s confusing.

I’ve also seen all the speculation about who might run third party. Romney is the one we should be worried about. Shades of Lisa Murkowski…

HoosierHawk on January 24, 2012 at 9:17 PM

The Tea Party dies with Gingrich if he “becomes” their phony leader- and gets the nomination- and then loses badly which he will.
If the Tea Party gets into this turdfest and backs anyone and obie wins in Nov.- the Tea Party becomes irrelevant.

FlaMurph on January 24, 2012 at 9:38 PM

the establishment is like our mother!? my mother is not a lying thief!

nathor on January 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Mitch Daniels will be the next golden boy sent out to play WWF wrestling drama. The plan has always been to lose the Presidency to Obama and win the Senate and the House.

Then ka-ching goes the cash register as the GOP Congressional leaders “valiantly resist Obama, for contributions of course.

If Newt wins the Presidency, that messes up the Senate and House WWF charade a lot of money will be lost.

And Jeb Bush’s turn to be President in 2016 will be up in the air.

jimw on January 24, 2012 at 11:22 PM

And Jeb Bush’s turn to be President in 2016 will be up in the air.

jimw on January 24, 2012 at 11:22 PM

And GHWB will cry. Again.

Connie on January 25, 2012 at 12:13 AM

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