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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
Percentage of G.O.P. House and Senate members in an April 2006 poll who believed humans are causing climate change:
Bees can remember human faces, but only if they are tricked into thinking that we are strange flowers.
“All I saw,” said a 12-year-old neighbor of visits to the man’s house, “was just cats in little diapers.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”