Romney–the New McCain?

by Rich Lowry

Stanley, How could Romney still win?  The same implausible, by-the-skin-of-his-teeth way John McCain did in 2008. His situation is comparable to McCain’s in some crucial respects: a weak next-in-line candidate who got caught out on a position that had some conservative support but became a big loser as the party shifted right on it (the individual mandate in Romney’s case, immigration in McCain’s). After blowing up his primary campaign, McCain basically cried uncle and slowly recovered. Romney, in contrast, has now foolishly cast defending his Massachusetts mandate as a matter of personal integrity–making eventual retreat much harder. Nonetheless, Romney could still prevail if none of the other candidates attain critical mass and everything breaks exactly right for him. It’s not a comfortable path to the nomination by any means and it looks harder after his speech this week than before, but it’s not an impossibility.