Memo To New Hampshire Democrats:
Fellow Dems, it is time to come to the aid of the Mittster. And no, it’s not that I just love today’s “new-look” Mitt— the tie-less one with three hairs carefully tousled. That just makes him look like page 14, rather than page 4, of the Brooks Brothers’ catalogue. No, it’s because he’s lagging, he’s wounded and he needs us. That’s right, us.
And much more importantly, we need him.
Before you go thinking your favorite amphibian here has gone off the lily pad, consider: Any of the Democratic contenders can probably beat any of he current Republican contenders. With one exception: John McCain. McCain will offer a foreign policy advantage over Obama and Edwards and a personality advantage over Clinton. If McCain wins the New Hampshire primary he will quickly become the favorite to win the Republican nomination. Within days of that victory, Fred Thompson will abandon his run and throw his support to McCain (whom he campaigned for in 2000). Romney will have lost two straight and be abandoned by the pro-business Republicans to support the lesser of two evils in their opinion, McCain over Huckabee. McCain then goes on to win in South Carolina and Nevada and makes the Guliani strategy of waiting until February 5 seem to be even more quixotic than it does today.
But if Romney wins, McCain is in trouble. He will have failed to win either of the first two contests and history says that would be very hard to overcome. Romney would have momentum, attention and the wind behind his boneless back. He wins Michigan, South Carolina goes back to the Huckleberry and Fred Thompson hangs around to sleep another day. Guliani becomes just viable enough to keep this party going for months to come. The GOP turns to GOOP, forced to settle their grievances in a caged-match on the convention floor. Since Romney has the most money and fewest principles, it says here he emerges from the fray.
I know you may want to get in on Barackomania. You’ll have your chance in the general election, when it really counts. Edwards will finish third in New Hampshire no matter how many votes are cast, so no loss there. And if you like Hillary, and think this is the time to make a stand to keep her in the race, let it go. That dirge played Thursday night at the southwest corner of a weathered gym in a town named Waterloo. Besides, the ultimate victory here needs to be in the general election, and at this point nothing would threaten the opportunity to win back the White House than the anti-Hillary fervor that would rally the Republicans behind McCain against her.
So, down your Maalox and step up to the Republican ballot. And take one for the cause, by voting for (gulp) Mitt Romney. 'Tis a far, far better vote you cast than you have ever cast before.