So, the GOP finally has a candidate!

Mitt Romney finally wins the 2012 Republican nomination for president. However, even he didn't seem terribly excited about it.

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“The unrelenting anti-Romney hostility has ruptured the conservative media movement — a movement that has come to define, and in some ways dominate, the modern Republican Party,” wrote Kurtz.

Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, doesn’t hold back when it comes to Romney: “Anything he does, there’s an automatic assumption that it’s the synthetic product of calculation. There’s something lacking at the core.”

“As the alternatives have faded,” continues Kurtz, “Lowry is trying to make peace with the idea of Romney as nominee: ‘If I have to

manufacture enthusiasm, I’ll happily do so.’ Yet in the next breath, he frames the choice as ‘a flawed candidate running against a very flawed president.’

Another conspicuous holdout is Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, who does not disguise his distrust of Romney. Radio host Laura Ingraham openly questions whether Romney can beat Obama. Rush Limbaugh, writes Kurtz, “has played golf with the candidate but tells listeners, ‘Romney is not a conservative … He comes across as the prototypical rich Republican.’”

“Romney’s nomination has basically been inevitable since, oh, 2008ish,” writes New York magazine’s Noreen Malone. “But no one in his party has ever seemed particularly enthused about it, leading to the line-’em-up and knock-’em-down Cinderella stories of the GOP primary season, and the wishful thinking about late entrances from Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels.”

“Was Romney the worst of the Republican candidates this year?” asks Rick Bayan of the Moderate Voice. “Of course not; his competition was, for the most part, a procession of jaw-droppingly shallow and maladroit aspirants to the American throne. But let me say this much in their favor: as right-wing Christian populists, at least the Rick Perrys, Michele Bachmanns and Herman Cains could truthfully say they represented more than one percent of the population.

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“So was Romney the best candidate the GOP could have produced? No again,” writes Bayan. “Romney is the kind of moderate who gives moderates a bad name. He waffles, he flip-flops, he tailors his utterances to the audience whose votes he needs at the moment – even going as far as to distance himself from his own healthcare reforms as governor of Massachusetts. In short, as Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California, ‘There’s no there there.’ This purported centrist lacks a center, a core of principle and conviction beneath the slick veneer of his ‘whatever works’ operating style.”

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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