Why Mitt is Staying In: 2012


I think we all know that there is really no logical reason for Mitt (or Huckabee for that matter) to stay in the 2008 race.  McCain has the nom all but locked up.  So why on earth is Mitt hanging around? 

He says (and must say) that he is sticking around because he wants to provide conservatives a candidate to get behind and give voters a choice.  Fine, that is what he is suppossed to say, but I don’t buy it.  Mitt is a business man and easily the smartest person in the race.  He understands principles of investment and when to cut your losses, seemingly the time to do that is now. 

But there is another, more logical, motivating factor that I think is in play behind the scenese and that is 2012.    Mitt and Huckabee are in a race for 2nd place now and 2nd place can set one of them up as the early frontrunner for the GOP in 2012, after McCain gets it handed to him in November by the Democrat.  You see, the GOP has knack for nominating the “next” guy in the GOP and that next guy is often the runner-up in the previous election. Thus, if Mitt finishes in 2nd he is the natural front-runner four years from now. 

Now many may say that if Mitt drops out now he still finishes in second because he has more delegates and you are right.  But we are dealing with the realities of public perception.  The public doesn’t care about delegate counts, they care about last man standing.  So that is why Mitt needs to be one of the last two standing.

However, I think the best Mitt can do is finish in a tie for second because Huckabee will not drop out until McCain has crossed the delegate threshold for the nomination.  Huckabee is playing both the 2nd place game and is trying to basically force McCain into making him the veep candidate.  Thus, what I see happening is the day after McCain crosses the delegate line, both Mitt and Huck drop out of the race because the race is over.   Thus neither Mitt nor Huck can legitimately claim sole 2nd place.

So Mitt goes from there to do whatever it is he wants to do and Huckabee pleads for a spot on the McCain ticket.  Huckabee gets the veep slot and proceeds to lose to the dem in November and looks like a loser but still not as bad as McCain and decides to run in 2012.

Huckabee claims to be the next in line in the GOP due to being the veep candidate, while Mitt comes in and claims the same due to his 2nd place tiebreaker-the delegates- and the fact that he performed well in all parts of the country in 2008.   Thus, very early, in spring 2011, the party faithful gravitate towards Romney as the next guy, both because he doesn’t alienate huge swaths of the party and because he can win outside the South. 

So right now it is all about 2012, nothing about 2008.

UPDATE:  Romney Suspends Campaign

How about that, two days after South Carolina, I wrote about why Fred Thompson may stay in the race and motivation for doing so, no more than about 5 hours after writing that Fred dropped out.  Today I write as to why Romney would stay in, despite thinking he shouldn’t, and sure enough, about 5 hours later he drops out.  Maybe I should write about why McCain should drop out tomorrow and see what happens



Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

8 responses to “Why Mitt is Staying In: 2012

  1. environmentalchristian

    You may be correct, but I don’t think that Mitt is the most intelligent candidate by a long shot. Because he is a business man…? Ron Paul is a doctor. Not only that, but in my opinion Obama and McCain have him outdone in that category.

  2. I like your analysis, and I am somewhat of a Romney fan (and a member of his faith), but I think you missed one thing… You mention that Romney can win outside the south (in a jab at Huckabee who can’t). What you missed is that Romney can’t win IN the south. It sucks, I know, but the anti mormon vote is just too strong in the south. I am a convert (8 years now) who came from the Southern Baptists. Many of my family have stated that they couldn’t vote for a mormon. Maybe that will change over the next 4 years, but I just don’t see it happening.

  3. thefamilyguy

    Unfortunately, it looks as if McCain will win. Huck hasn’t a chance, but hopes to be the VP. I’m not sure why he would want to be the running mate on the losing ticket in the general election though. Many members of the GOP will simply stay home (or even vote democrat) with McCain on the ticket. Democrats will never cross the aisle….thier emotions would not allow it, so McCain losses in a landslide. Sigh. What a strange party we have become.


    Romney is still hoping that the conservatives in the party will gel and come out to vote. Perhaps they will, but if not, at least it will save me time, not having to drive to the polls in November.

  4. He isn’t staying in. Mitt just dropped out. Ugh. um, Go Ron Paul! um, yeah.

  5. ama49

    I don’t know who I want to vote for now…

  6. I got two points to make:

    Ok it’s now McCain vs. Clinton or Obama.

    Does anyone really think that McCain will turn on his Demo buddies that he’s been making for the past 8 years and attack their ideas and policies, he’s been making policy with them and not with the Republicans.

    I can’t believe that people will think that McCain will change just because he gave a speech saying so, and I do not think that he will saddle his White House with making Huckabee his VP, I truly think that McCain will choose Joe Liberman as his VP to pay him back for all his support….and since the Demo’s don’t want Liberman any more…just watch, I’m sure that this will happen, thus making it a no-chance in hell that McCain will win the White House, McCain is counting on the hatred of the Clintons to make it easy for him to get into the White House with or without the Conservatives and for the Conservatives to just fall in and do as they are told.

    His relationship with Ronald Reagan is what he is counting on to blind the Conservatives into thinking with their hearts and not their minds. Does he really believe people to be so blind, maybe so, I’ve seen alot of McCain bootlicking just as soon as Romney backed out of the race today.


    I do think that Romney knows that it’s almost obvious that a Demo will win the White House in 2008 and will make a comeback in 2012, I read that in his speech today, very obvious that his goal is to UNITE America not just a party….but the future of America. That has been his message all along. Romneys message is the best one on the campain trail and Romney has my support now and anytime he decides in the future to run for President again.


  7. I was a vigerous supporter of Governer Mitt Romney and a stern opponent of Arizona Senator John McCain. In fact, I just wrote days ago that I would (irrevocably) NOT EVER vote for John McCain.

    After Mitt Romney gave his defense of why he is dropping out of the race, followed by a great, humble speech at CPAC by John McCain, I am reversing my decision effective IMMEDIATELY and campaigning for John McCain.

    I blog because I love my children, America, and it’s future. I cannot allow four precious years to pass by while Islamofascist jihadists gain the upper hand in the world because Hillary or Obama win the White House and keep the Congress.

    John McCain reached out to conservatives in a humble way for the first time at CPAC. I hope he will continue to do that, and also pick a conservative for the VP slot.

    Because I love America, I now support and work for the election of John McCain to the Presidency of the United States of America.

    May God have mercy on us all if John McCain DOESN’T defeat Hillary or Obama.

  8. Susan

    Steven, you mention that Romney can’t win the south. I volunteered, flying around the country to get out the vote for Mitt. I found that while there are some who would not vote for him based on bigotry, there were MANY Evangelicals who WOULD HAVE voted for him if Huckabee was not an option. AND more and more, Evangelicals were learning about Mitt and he was truly gaining strength. If it had been a 2-man race, with Romney vs. McCain or Romney vs. Huckabee, Romney would have won overall, I have no doubt. There is more that could have been done to reach out to the south, but I am confident he could pull it off in 2012, even if Huckabee was the opponent. (Plus, we talked to several Huckabee supporters who didn’t realize Huckabee’s past ethics problems, etc., and switched to Mitt upon learning of it.)

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