Jonathan Martin’s Gilmore piece today reminded me of my 2008 Republican-primary principle: if you’re a conservative, run! Romney projects as a strong candidate, but if he stumbles, there is going to be a big gap for a non-McCain conservative. Who would fill it? Brownback? Huckabee? If you are a conservative office-holder (or former office-holder apparently) out there, you’ve got to think, “Well, why am I any more unlikely than any of those guys?” (But for macaca, this is why Allen projected as such a strong contender–he didn’t have any Massachusetts record to explain away and his abortion flip-flopping was in the relatively distant past. Of course, he had other problems.)
Meanwhile, Martin has a cover story in the new NR on how McCain and Romney are the only candidates who have done any real spade-work in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and if anyone else wants to catch up to them–Giuliani? Gingrich?–they had better get cracking sooner rather than later.