If this analysis is right, Romney would be sure to lose a 2016 presidential bid. “Voters will compromise on a lot of issues on Election Day but they won’t ever vote for you if they don’t like you or worse yet, think you don’t like them.” That makes him the perfect GOP candidate — delegitimating the opposition, without seizing the poisoned chalice of democratic leadership (i.e. increasingly vacuous symbolic authority). If the electorate grudgingly concede, after renewing his humiliation, he was right, but we voted against him anyway because he didn’t kiss my baby, it’s NRx gravy.
This has to be in some way related:
Romney 2016: Reform conservative. Romney 2020: Buchananite. Romney 2024: Rothbardian. Romney 2028: Neo-reactionary.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) January 13, 2015