The headline “Romney and McCain: The GOP Frenemies’ Club” showed up on my news feed last night. It sounded like something written by TPM‘s Josh Marshall or Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen.
Michael Corleone said to “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” But what, pray tell, do we do with our frenemies? This is the awful, election-year quandary of movement conservatives. And everything you need to know about our heartache can be summed up in one image…
When they’re together, they look like they’re holding each other (and the rest of us) hostage.
Malkin’s mini-photo essay brings to mind a recent photo-essay at TPM titled, “Get Off My Lawn!: Pictures Of John McCain Looking Miserable Next To Mitt Romney.” Yes…we have Michelle Malkin and Josh Marshall publishing the same sort of photo-essay “hit” pieces against Mitt Romney. What an amazing political world we live in!
Some Republicans now seem hell-bent on reelecting Obama. Newt Gingrich supporters are putting serious money and effort into it with this new anti-Romney film:
Entitled “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” the film produced by Jason Killian Meath, a former Republican National Committee aide, is being funded by Winning Our Future, an organization run by longtime aides to Gingrich. Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), and a Gingrich supporter, has given Winning Our Future $5 million to help air the film in South Carolina.
It’s an interesting gambit. Gingrich’s friends have done the calculus. They believe that the damage done to Romney (and to some extent, Republicans) is worth it.
Unlikely. They may slightly reduce Romney’s chances of getting the nomination. But not enough for a Newt nomination. Among other problems, his performance against Obama is substantially worse than Romney’s (RCP’s average gives Obama +1.5% versus Romney and +8.8% versus Gingrich using national polls). Republicans will, in the end, go with the candidate who performs best against Obama. That’s what happened with McCain in 2008, and it is very likely to happen with Romney in 2012.
At this point, only the “perfect storm” could sink Romney’s G.O.P. nomination prospects this year. That isn’t going to happen, if only because the anti-Romney wing of the party isn’t unified…
The tension is exacerbated by the deep divisions between two key GOP wings: tea party groups yearning for a pure small-government conservative, and evangelical Christians who want a loyal social conservative.
In one sign of their desperation, some activists are holding out for what they acknowledge is a spectacular long shot: a late-entering savior who could still qualify for enough state ballots and win enough delegates to force a brokered GOP convention this summer.
Without any clear alternative to Mitt Romney, this internal G.O.P. struggle is turning into a bloodbath, now with Gingrich’s friends putting millions of dollars into the Obama reelection effort.
Malkin picked the wrong aphorism: Mitt is no Godfather, and any frenemy-like alliances that really matter have already disintegrated.
The apt proverb here is, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and Newt Gingrich is Barack Obama’s new best friend.