Frum keeps faith in Romney's ability to buck Party orthodoxy:
(1) Romney is not only very intelligent, but he also has demonstrated through his career a devotion to facts over ideology. (2) Romney has visibly not been caught up in the panic and rage against President Obama that has done so much to distort Republican thinking since 2009. (3) Romney has not signed up for the kind of ultra-deluded tax-cutting as solution to all ills program advocated by Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman. His unwillingness to over-commit himself during the Republican primaries signals an openness to future contingencies should he be elected president. Slender hopes? Yes. But no other Republican offers any hope at all.
David might want to pipe down a little. The Tea Partiers have broadband, remember? Chait sees the jittery base thinking along the same lines but drawing the opposite conclusion:
Republican moneymen and pundits are starting to flock to the Mitt Romney banner, sending forth the word that it is time to bow to the inevitable. But the Republican voters just do not like Mitt Romney. The depth the of the base's resistance to falling in behind next-in-line Romney has continuously shocked observers, resulting first in the rise of Donald Trump, then Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry. Now Perry is swooning, and his support has gone to … Herman Cain! In the latest Washington Post poll, Perry's support has halved over the last month, but Romney remains stuck at 25 percent. Cain has risen to 16 percent. The new CBS poll has Cain tied, at 17 percent, for first place with Romney. PPP polled Republicans in North Carolina, Nebraska, and West Virginia, and found Cain leading in all three states…I don't see how Republicans could be making this any more plain. They do not want to nominate Mitt Romney.
(Photo: Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC] at the Orange County Convention Center, on September 23, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. By Mark Wilson/Getty Images.)