After contemplating Reid’s round-up and hearing the Monday morning summaries of political news, I find myself concluding that Beltway pundits have decided that it’s time to get on the Romney horse. They seem to have figured out that Giuliani is a dead man walking, what between Kerik and Shaggate and all the social-issues apostasy. Huckabee is too poor in cash, too far out religiously, and of course too much the economic populist for the moneybags who make the GOP engines turn. From what I gather, Romney has not endeared himself to the GOP establishment, but that’s a pretty depressed enterprise these days, and hardly in a position to persuade anyone. So the hyperbolic enthusiasm for the Romney speech emanating from the O’Beirne and Matthews types has less to do with honest assessment and more to do with ingratiation. The logic, presumably, is that Huckabee’s victory in Iowa will be offset by Romney’s in NH, and that no matter what happens in South Carolina enough GOP voters will be freaked out by the thought of voting for a creationist who wants to quarantine AIDS patients that they will turn to Anybody But Huck, and that Anybody will be Mitt. The Neocons won’t be happy about having to jump ship on Giuliani, but now that bombing Iran is off the table, they will decide that they overplayed that card anyway. Mitt will not have Norman Podhoretz hanging around his neck. And in due course, the social conservatives will recognize that A Republican Person of Faith is better than a Democratic Person of Faith, especially if it’s Hillary.
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About the author
Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service