Romney advisors: Palin’s candidacy would help him


Alternate headline: “Politico buries lede.”

“It’s possible someone may get in later on,” Gillespie said, “but Republican activists, officials and donors are going to begin picking a horse from the current field. We have a field that will produce a nominee capable of beating Obama next November.”…

Republicans officials have no idea what [Palin is] planning, although they agree she would have tons to lose by entering a race that would cost her the mystique she has built up. And Romney advisers said her entry would help the former Massachusetts governor dramatically.

“The shock value would cause elected officials and party officials to rally around Mitt, because she’d scare the daylights out of them,” one official said. “And it would allow him to position himself very much in the middle of Republican, conservative thinking and avoid the fringe, and look more moderate for the general election.”

Bachmann would have the same effect, the advisers said. Either of them “gives Romney a bogeyman: ‘Stop this crazy woman.’”

In other words, Palin’s entry would transform a race between Romney and Not Romney into a race between Palin and Not Palin. And since being Mitt Romney is a poor position to be in these days, he’d much rather be Not Palin. I get the logic, I just don’t see why they think establishment Republicans would rally around Mitt instead of around Pawlenty. To repeat a point I made earlier today, once Palin is in and presumably wins Iowa, the establishment strategy will shift towards producing the strongest possible centrist candidate for the showdown in South Carolina to try to stop her there. Romney will be the best funded, but he’ll have RomneyCare hanging over his head, his record of flip-flopping on abortion, and of course the sensitive issue of his faith, which may or may not be a liability. Pawlenty has none of the baggage and has evangelical social conservative cred. And, just maybe, he’ll have an endorsement from Nikki Haley, whose political advisor happens to be T-Paw’s pollster.

What Romney’s team will have to do, if they see prominent conservatives starting to defect to Pawlenty, is play hardball by vowing to contest South Carolina as ferociously as possible even if T-Paw upsets him in New Hampshire. Given Romney’s money advantage, he could probably pull enough votes from Pawlenty in SC to make Palin the winner, the prospect of which will terrify Republican insiders.

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Keep dreaming Mit, that same dream is what got you 5% of the votes last time around against John McCain?? When you cant beat McCain its time to find a new job.

He, and his people, underestimate the effect the TEA Party’s emergence will have. Just as the Democrats did in the 2010 elections.

I will not vote for this man. He is nothing more than a liberal lite, who will only slow down our slide into statism.

at this point i will vote for whoever the gop candidate will be.

we cannot survive as a nation under obama and his commie ilk.

I could not bring myself to vote for mitt. he is worse than MaCain was. I think the establishment is in for a surprise big time. (I Hope)I consider Sarah, Bachman, and Cain the peoples contenders. And as quite a few politicians found out this past November, the people can’t always be predicted. Especially with all the anger amongst voters at politicians, and now that anger has only intensified.

@Gary G. Swenchonis:

Especially with all the anger amongst voters at politicians, and now that anger has only intensified.

And it will continue to do so as Boehner continues to look weak, along with the rest of the GOP congressional leadership. Voters are going to equate Romney with the GOP leadership, and vote against him in the primary.

johngalt: Thanks for finishing that sentence for me! I could not have said it any better.