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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
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature