Well, it's all over but the inevitable shouting. Romney has officially withdrawn from the race and thrown his support to John McCain. I find it both intriguing and enjoyable that he chose his appearance at CPAC to do so. His exit speech is both forceful and elegant. While fiercely defending conservative values, he also recognizes the importance of ensuring that neither a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton have the opportunity to take this country in a backward direction.
Mitt Romney is a class act, the likes of which we have not seen since (dare I say it?) Ronald Reagan. If Mitt is to become the (not "a") dedicated defender of conservative values within the Republican Party — for McCain patently refuses to do so — then I hope, like Reagan, we see more and more of Romney in the years to come. I hope he returns to run in '12 or '16. By then he will have become the kind of nationally recognizable figure that, like Reagan, is able to rise above what he was (in Reagan's case, an actor) to become one of the great Presidents in the 21st century. Reagan was an actor-turned-politician who was able to rise above the perception of Hollywood flakiness to become a master communicator and uniter of the party (again, something to which McCain can only aspire). Romney has that same potential to rise above his Latter-day Saint background that has seemed so appalling to evangelicals across the country and remain an active voice of the GOP as Reagan did between the 1976 and 1980 elections.
The difference here, of course, is that Reagan did not have to fight a Republican incumbent in 1980. We don't know if Romney will be facing a Republican or a Democrat incumbent in 2012, but that person will more than likely be seeking a second term. Even if we wait until 2016, however, I still firmly believe that Romney will be a wise choice for this country to make.
In the meantime, may I just say that I begin with a slow sautée in butter, adding a dash of onion and garlic powders, over medium heat...
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