Joe’s very interesting dialog with himself (see below) about what he’s going to do today has inspired one of my own. I think I’ve learned a lesson from this election. Some months ago, I looked at the unsatisfying field before me and asked myself, "Which one of these guys has the best chance of winning in November and is the least disagreeable to me?" I concluded--we now know incorrectly--that this guy was Rudy. (Though I still think he’d have done well if he could have pulled through the primary.) All the available evidence--including polls--supported the notion that he was our best bet. Seeing the alternative, and admiring Rudy’s personal toughness, made me sanguine about the prospect of a Giuliani-led ticket even though I have strong differences with him on many issues. But now I’ve stopped asking myself who has the best chance in November. I no longer think I’m wise enough to know the answer to that question.
At this point, our leading choice seems to be a prickly fellow with positions firmly set and, quite often, opposite mine. Our other choice is a guy whose positions might generously be called "wobbly." He is not a prickly fellow but he’s also not particularly endearing. (I won’t go through my long critique of Romney’s missing love handles again.) On the other hand, when you look at his executive experience and you look at his many accomplishments and you compare them to McCain’s . . . McCain doesn’t look so good. Romney is standing by what he says he believes now . . . and he’s shown an admirable amount of determination that I’d really like to see applied to our foreign policy. I think he’ll be like a terrier with a bone when he sinks his teeth into the war on terror. Further, the looming prospect of Obama and the energy that ticket will bring with it makes me quite skeptical about the argument that McCain can carry independents. So I’m disregarding it.
That said, I have a very strong feeling that nothing I or the numerous outraged conservatives say about John McCain, is going to keep him from carrying the day. And, if he does, I’m not going to give my vote to the Democrats by sitting out. On the other hand, it’s not yet clear that this is inevitable and, more important, I think Romney would be a better President.
So I’m going to vote for Romney today. I’m voting for him in the hopes that he’ll carry the day. But, failing that, I’m counting on a good showing from Romney at least chastening his establishment opponent. To me, it’s pretty obvious now what needs to be done . . . even if you like McCain. Perhaps, even, especially if you like McCain. He needs to sweat.