When Rick Santorum dropped out of the race last week he said, “miracle after miracle, this race was as improbable as any you will ever see for president.” He was absolutely right. Throughout the entire primary season there has been one candidate who has continued to defy the odds. What Santorum gets wrong, is that he is talking about his campaign and not the real miracle candidate.
For the last two years I told friends and family that Romney had zero chance to become the Republican nominee. They all called me crazy back then and I am sure many more will call me crazy now. But before anybody here does, allow me to list the reasons why I doubted Romney from day one.
Romney is too moderate. After President Obama won the 2008 election, many prominent conservative leaders pointed to McCain not being conservative enough as the reason he lost the election. Of course they leave out that McCain had history against him (a political party has won three consecutive presidential elections just one time since World War II), that he was seen as impulsive by the voters after suspending his campaign and trying to get out of the first debate after the financial system collapsed, and the fact that he picked as his running mate, someone with the intelligence level of a lamp shade. They blamed the loss on McCain being too moderate.
Romeny has been on record supporting abortion rights, gay rights, the individual mandate, tough gun laws and he said in his 1994 race against Ted Kennedy that he did not want to go back to the days of Reagan/Bush. Considering his past statements, one could argue that Romney is more moderate than McCain.
Republicans rejected “electability” in 2010. Republicans threw away two sure-fire pick-ups in the Senate. In Delaware, former Governor and Rep. Mike Castle was a shoo-in to win Joe Biden's old seat. However, Republican voters thought he was too moderate and instead nominated Christine O'Donnell and gave the seat to Democrat Chris Coons.
In Nevada, the Republican dream of defeating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was well within their grasp. Instead of nominating former state party chairwomen Sue Lowden, who by all accounts would have beaten Harry Reid, they nominated Sharron Angle, who famously said that Second Amendment remedies could be a cure for an out of control Congress, and allowed Harry Reid to win re-election despite having approval ratings below 40% in Nevada.
In addition to Nevada and Delaware, Tea Party-backed candidates defeated moderate republicans in primaries in Alaska, Florida, Maine and all across the country.
So it was clear to me that the Tea Party was taking over, given their reaction to the 2008 election and the fact that they nominated based on ideological purity instead of electability in the 2010 midterm elections.
Romneycare. As I wrote in a previous PolicyMic piece, one of the biggest hot button issues among Republicans is Obamacare. The Republican candidates tried to one up each other throughout the entire primary race on who was going to repeal the law quicker if elected president. As we all know, Romney is by and large the father of Obamacare.
Considering all of this, I figured there would be no possible way that the Republicans would nominate another moderate republican who created the very law they want to see repealed on Jan. 20, 2013. I was wrong. Make no mistake, the fact that Romney is now the presumptive nominee is the real miracle of this race.