PowerLineBlog surmises the fate of John McCain, Mitt Romney and political protocol in the Republican Party:
As the number two contender in 2000, McCain was the heir apparent; hence his early front-runner status. His resurgence in recent months stems from a number of factors, including his own unique stature and history, public awareness of success in Iraq, Rudy Giuliani’s decision to forgo the early primaries, and more. But the biggest factor of all may have been the reassertion of what, in Republican politics, amounts almost to the law of gravity: McCain’s status as the next candidate in line.
This Republican tendency can be frustrating, but it does spare us from embarrassments like Jimmy Carter and Michael Dukakis. For what it’s worth, if McCain gets the nomination this year and loses, in 2012 Mitt Romney will be the presumed candidate, assuming that he keeps himself busy with party activities over the next few years. Romney is relatively young and in excellent health; 2008 could turn out to be a tune-up for him, somewhat as 1976 was for Ronald Reagan.
I disagree. Placing political protocol above the needs of this nation is a course toward disaster. Our nation needs new and vibrant leadership to carry us forward into the 21st century — into a world that no long fits the mold of either political protocol, the 19th or 2oth centuries.
If John McCain becomes the Republican nominee, America will see not only the demise of the Republican party, but of our nation’s role as a global leader. The greatest loss will be that one person — Mitt Romney — could have made all the difference.
And we have four days to ensure that Republican protocol is not the best option.