At least one thing’s sure: Romney meets the informal (yet strangely durable) height “requirement” for the presidency.
Much like actors around Oscar time, presidential candidates may pooh-pooh the value of media endorsements but they’ll quietly eat their hearts out if those approbations go to someone else. Thanks to a nod from the National Review, whose editors tapped him as the “most conservative viable candidate” of this season’s Republican crop, Mitt Romney is feeling loved, at least for the moment.
National Review Online:
Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate. In our judgment, that candidate is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest. While he has not talked much about the importance of resisting ethnic balkanization—none of the major candidates has—he supports enforcing the immigration laws and opposes amnesty. Those are important steps in the right direction.
Uniting the conservative coalition is not enough to win a presidential election, but it is a prerequisite for building on that coalition. Rudolph Giuliani did extraordinary work as mayor of New York and was inspirational on 9/11. But he and Mike Huckabee would pull apart the coalition from opposite ends: Giuliani alienating the social conservatives, and Huckabee the economic (and foreign-policy) conservatives. A Republican party that abandoned either limited government or moral standards would be much diminished in the service it could give the country.