The Corner

An Admirable Candidate and Man

I believe Mitt Romney will win today (from both ends of my commute, I can notice even out here in blue California the strange Obama lethargy, as Obama signs and bumper stickers, ubiquitous in 2008, rarely materialized in either metrosexual Palo Alto or, its antithesis, the impoverished central San Joaquin Valley barrios) — even though it will probably be closer than we would like to imagine.

But whatever the verdict, conservatives can appreciate the way Romney conducted himself throughout the campaign. If one reviews the primaries, it is hard to imagine that the other rival candidates would have done as well as Romney has the last eight months. He ran against overwhelming odds that might have stymied others — a biased, sometimes vicious media, the Candy Crowley debacle, suspect polls that sought to create Obama momentum as much as sample voters, incumbency, and a $1 billion negative ad-based Obama campaign that sought to portray him as a near-felon and veritable killer of the innocent.

Through it all, he worked incredibly hard, blew the supposedly mellifluous Obama away in the first debate, and appeared far more presidential than the incumbent in the second and third. Even in areas where some of us thought he should have emphasized Libya more, or sought to have presented a holistic agenda to offer a new contract for all Republican candidates, both congressional and state, his own centrist approach may well have been the politically wiser.

Romney’s unimpeachable personal life ensured that there was not a trace of scandal, so much so that even the devious Gloria Allred gave up in despair. He out-hustled and out-prepared Obama, and presented the conservative case with professionalism and spirit — winning over conservatives who are voting enthusiastically for Romney rather than just against Obama. Quite amazingly, Romney ends even or slightly ahead in the most reliable polls — and the reason is that no Republican candidate this year could have done a better job of offering a real alternative to the last four lost years. All in all, we owe Romney a debt of gratitude for a campaign that made his supporters proud.

And now be sure to vote!

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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