...as if you needed it. Contrary to what the experts are saying, it’s clear to me that Romney’s big job is no longer reaching out to Huck’s supporters. Attacking him as a Christian progressive nanny-stater isn’t going to impress them. They can tell the difference between Christian hope and socialist, progressivist hope. (See our great pope’s new encyclical on hope, and see Tocqueville on how Christianity prevents Americans from imagining that political reform should be pursued by all means necessary etc.) Instead, Mitt should start convincing Giuliani supporters that he is the plausible alternative to Huckabee, that his more moderate but REAL social conservatism and policy wonkish market-based expertise on the domestic issues (like health care) are the keys to victory. The Huck surge should be a wake-up call that suggests to many Republicans that Mitt is more electable than Rudy. Romney should acknowledge the fact of the Huck surge, reflect soberly on its significance, but avoid any divisive attack on the new man from Hope.
Mitt should be prepared to endure the defeat in Iowa and fight on through an appeal to voters in the more urban and urbane states who are, for now, for Giuliani.
I also think, as I’ve said before, that another imperative in our volatile times is a reevaluation of McCain as maybe the best deal Republicans have right now.
Last night, we closed my elections class through a close reading of Ramesh Ponnuru and Richard Lowry, "The Grim Truth: Repubicans Face a Calamitous Political Situation, but They Can Act to Avoid It."
Here’s what those astute authors say about Rudy: "...Giuliani has broken with the base of the party, but only in ways that will not help him with the larger electorate. And to make up for those deviations on social issues, he is projecting a bring-it-on bellicosity that conservatives like but that most voters simply do not feel."