Mitt Romney Nets The Review

Speaking of presidential politics (Okay, I know, with me that must seem like nearly all the time), we look over to the other side of the aisle and see that someone other than Huckabee is catching headlines.

And this one’s pretty big.

Newspapers and periodicals haven’t even telegraphed endorsing candidates yet, but the National Review has their man; Mitt Romney.  It’s a strange endorsement, at once glowing with a few passages in there to make even me almost reconsider, and yet at the same time filled with sour grapes.

Particularly you can tell that the editors kinda wished they could be writing this endorsement in favor of McCain or Thompson.

But they came out for Romney, and I think this is a big issue.  As the endorsement explains, Romney still has a lot of convincing to do, but netting the blatantly conservative periodical’s thumb’s up is a big step in the right direction.

I can only imagine that catching the endorsement of the Review allows Mitt the ability to get further endorsements of other opinion makers, bloggers, and columnists, which in turn will affect the opinion of Republican voters.  Indeed, as I said above, the endorsement piece alone was quite a doozy.

Interestingly, Mitt’s early campaign has been about the grassroots work; pounding it out on the ground in the early states while the frontrunner Giuliani dallied away with a national strategy.  But now, things seem to have shifted.

Romney’s survived the presumptive nomination of McCain, the 9/11 assault of Giuliani, and the messianic savior of the party narrative of Thompson.  But now he’s the big cat with Huck working the roots.

To this degree, picking up the National Review’s endorsement is perfect, and speaks of what Romney needs to do to keep Huck nipping at his heels as opposed to stealing the nomination out from under him.  While Huckabee focuses on the individual votes, now is the time for Romney to focus on the leaders of conservative communities.  In such a way, it’s not about whether Romney or Huckabee can exert more influence over the individual voters, but instead it pits Huck against the actual leaders, be they of the spiritual or intellectual kind.

As if the battle for the nomination for the Huckster didn’t already just get so much harder.

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