Mitt Romney is dropping out of the race – or, in campaign parlance, “suspending” his campaign.
”If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or (Barack) Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror,” Romney planned to say in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
”This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters … many of you right here in this room … have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming president. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.”
One of the problems that so many people have had with Mitt Romney during this campaign was that he didn’t seem to be Mitt Romney. He seemed to be a man playing the role of Mitt Romney as hard ass conservative. And it was a role he wasn’t born to play.
I have friends who know Romney quite well – friends not necessarily predisposed to support his political agenda. To a person, they have deep respect and admiration for the man. Today may be one of the first days of the campaign where Mitt Romney’s true character is shining through.
He could have fought through to the convention. He could have had a big, stinking, attention-grabbing fight. He would have lost, but he could have fought.
Today he is setting aside his personal ambitions for the greater good.
Of course there are a few other realities he is confronting – money isn’t exactly streaming in, the conservative support isn’t enough to win him the nomination, he has his eyes on 2012 and this proves him to be a team player.
But whatever the reason, he is behaving like a leader today, like a man worth respecting. He’ll be back and maybe when he runs again he will run as the man he really is… whoever that is.
Now it is down to two – amazing that Huckabee and McCain are the last ones standing. Money can’t buy you love and money can’t buy the presidency either. Now that is a good story line.