POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

Make Him Spend it All

by David Trumbull

February 8, 2008

No matter how he tries to spin it, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney cannot alter the facts: his did very poorly on “Super Tuesday.” He lost twice as many states as he won. And he lost in the populous states with large numbers of delegates. In the South, the heartland of the modern Republican Party, he ran third in six states. He is well behind McCain in delegate count, approximately 613 to 269, with Huckabee close behind him with about 190.

After spending — according to published reports — $35 million of his own money, he is getting beaten up by both McCain and Huckabee whose combined spending doesn’t approach Romney’s. After spending $1.16 million per delegate to get to this point — trailing McCain nationally and in the large states and trailing Huckabee in the South — Romney has yet to learn that he can’t buy the nomination. Shortly after the results were in from Tuesday he vowed to campaign on. Good! Make him spend it all, I say!

If McCain is, as appears likely, the Republican nominee, he will face a well-financed and unified Democratic Party with a candidate who will have the total support — worth hundreds of millions of dollars in unregulated “in kind” contributions — of the main stream media. Romney’s campaign may be totally about Romney’s own self-indulgent megalomania, but he's got the money to keep on running and he just might stay in for a few more defeats. I think that is good for McCain and the Party.

It goes against conventional wisdom, which says it’s better to unite the Party behind one candidate and save your resources to battle the Democrat in the general election, but I believe that a good clean fight within the Party is healthy and makes for a stronger candidate in November. And we need a strong candidate in November.

Two important things depend on electing a Republican in November: a successful outcome of the war on terror and the appointment of Supreme Court justices who will support freedom for the American people rather than control of our lives by the nanny state.