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As of yet Mitt Romney has failed to demonstrate any significant level of national support–yet he has as good a chance as anyone to emerge as the Republican presidential nominee for 2008. There are two major reasons for that: money and Rudy Giuliani.
Thus far, Romney has raised around $63 million, more than any other GOP candidate, and thanks to his personal wealth he isn’t likely to be running low on campaign funds any time soon. Hence, he’ll be able to keep paying for the flood of TV ads that pushed him to the top of the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Romney’s strategy is to outlast John McCain, Fred Thompson, and Mike Huckabee, to become the “conservative” alternative to Giuliani, who many on the right just can’t stomach. In my November magazine article on Romney’s campaign (now available online for free), his South Carolina consultant, Warren Tompkins, told me: “If it’s Romney versus Giuliani, we win if we do our job right. Social groups, right to life organizations, the Bob Jones crowd are all sitting on the sidelines but Rudy scares them and when a conservative alternative comes to the top they will move there.”
That’s probably a smart bet, as seen in last week’s decision by Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of the fundamentalist Christian university, to endorse Romney. “This is all about beating Hillary,” he told The Greenville News in making the announcement.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida:
Florida’s wildlife officials decided to remove the manatee, which has a mild taste that readily adapts to recipes for beef, from the state’s endangered-species list.
A 64-year-old mother and her 44-year-old son were arrested for running a gang that stole more than $100,000 worth of toothbrushes from Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS stores in Florida.
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”