Romney lost big in South Carolina against split opposition support. However, Mitt shouldn’t take it personally. The “Anybody but Romney” vote, could well be renamed the “Anybody but What We’ve Already Tried” vote. The Republican voters have already tried the next-in-line, safe, establishment candidate, and lost–to Obama no less. As heroic as they have been in wars past, there are no more perfect examples of this kind of unexciting candidate as John McCain and Bob Dole, both of whom have now publicly endorsed Romney.
If they had a real understanding of why Newt surged, and why their preferred candidate has failed to connect with voters, they would have kept McCain and Dole as far from cameras and microphones as possible. To many, Romney is the best Republicans have in their current field of candidates, but to openly associate him with the same tired, uninspiring cast of characters of elections past is more than just bad political strategy. The tone-deafness of the Republican establishment could not be more astounding.
The voters want someone who understands their frustration, anger, and concern for the future of the country. They are tired of candidates too timid to say it like it is, candidates so afraid to offend the smallest of minorities with uncomfortable truths they instead exasperate the majority through monotonous political-speak, media-safe answers, and unfulfilled promises.