GOP Establishment Now Coalescing Around Romney?
Gov. Chris Christie's 14,000th announcement that he won't run for president seems to have shaken some quarters loose.
Following Governor Christie’s announcement on Tuesday top GOP official and bundler Gerogette Mosbacher told reporters, “We do not consider Perry a factor… We know who will be our nominee.”
Race for 2012 reported:
Those words were spoken today by Georgette Mosbacher, RNC Finance Co-Chair and huge GOP fundraiser, after Chris Christie’s announcement. The “we” is all the big bundlers, fundraisers, and money folks who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the field to be set — and that quote represents the coalescing around Mitt Romney that is expected to happen rather quickly now. Mosbacher went on to say:
“I think tomorrow, we’ll be contacting one another and probably put something together with Romney… And I would say that the race is now Romney and Obama. Quite frankly, the enthusiasm wasn’t there at the outset. He’s less conservative than a lot of us would like. However, our first and foremost goal is to defeat Obama. And we do believe Romney, in terms of independents, will be a strong candidate. We will coalesce behind him now… the time has come to get behind him… Tomorrow I’ll be on the phone all day. Quite frankly, it’ll be easier, because now we know who it is who will be our nominee. So we will pull our Rolodexes out and get to work.”
With all due respect to Mrs. Mosbacher, as the co-chair of the RNC finance committee, you have no business making such a public statement. At this point in 1991, Bill Clinton was only two days into his run for the presidency. At this point in 2007, Rudy Giuliani led in the polls and the money race. Mosbacher knows the latter, surely, because she backed Giuliani at the time. The 2012 race is quite fluid and will be until the South Carolina primary next year. For an RNC official of Mosbacher's stature to allow herself to become a public partisan in the primary is unwise, to the point that she should consider stepping down if she is going to publicly campaign for any single candidate. Her statement destroys the RNC's image of impartiality, and exposes the party to legitimate charges that it is trying to force its will on the primary. That won't sit well with the grassroots and the Tea Party, at all. Chairman Priebus should have a word with her, and remind her of the party's legitimate role in the primaries, and where that role ends.
That said, these comments provide an opportunity for Perry and Cain, who at this point* are the only viable alternatives to Romney. If Mitt Romney is now the establishment, David Brooks-approved candidate, he is the John McCain of 2012 -- a moderate who superficially appeals to establishment patricians like Mosbacher because they think he can win, but who will probably lose. Mosbacher has provided an opening for them to both paint Romney as the east coast moderate, not-of-the-conservative-movement candidate. And there's a debate coming up next week.
*"at this point" =/= set in stone.