Thursday, February 7, 2008


Remember when Mike Huckabee said on Tuesday night that there was a two-person race for the Republican nomination, and he was in it?

Sounded like the usual campaign bravado at the time.

I was busily working this morning on a wonderful, fascinating document (excerpt: "Most importantly, these successes have been duplicated in deployed systems, ALL of which have met or exceeded customer accuracy requirements...") and not really paying attention to the outside world. I peeked at Twitter at one point and saw some references to a Romney speech but didn't think much of it. Then I peeked at Google Reader around 11:45 and saw this headline:

Romney's Withdrawal Speech

I thought to myself, I don't remember adding the Onion to my Google Reader feeds.

Then I saw that it was a Real Clear Politics post:

Governor Romney's Address to the Conservative Political Action Committee - February 7, 2008

[bla bla bla]

Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign." You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976. But there is an important difference from 1976: today... we are a nation at war.

And Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat. And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child's play. About this, I have no doubt.

I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters... many of you right here in this room... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

So the six Republican candidates that I knew of when I voted two days ago have whittled down to five. Technically, not one. Five.

The five remaining candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

John Cox
Mike Huckabee
Alan Keyes
John McCain
Ron Paul

But Andante Higgins ignores three of these candidates:

With the news of Mitt Romney suspending his campaign today, the dynamics of the GOP race have shifted. Mike Huckabee is the only candidate who has won primaries that he has to compete with.

When asked about the sudden one-on-one with Huckabee, McCain said he thought it would be a "respectful" debate between the two even though they have differences on issues like taxes and health care....

On Huckabee’s wins in five states, [McCain advisor Charlie] Black had only respectful words for the Governor. “In the states that he won, he has great appeal. It’s his home base, he’s an attractive candidate. At the end of the day we give him all the credit,” he said.

Black also noted that the states Huckabee won, McCain did little or no advertising and didn’t run much of a campaign due to a lack of funds. While some of those states were close between Huckabee and McCain, Black says they don’t regret their efforts because there were no other option available to them.

As of now, mikehuckabee,com has not released a formal statement on Romney's departure. But Reverse_Vampyr has commented:

Looks like McCain won't need to pretend to be conservative any more.

And this will be the interesting point. In the same way that Obama is the anti-Clinton, Huckabee has now become the anti-McCain, and the disaffected will rally around Mike (sorry, Ron Paul).

Ironically, Romney's move to unite the party will result in some serious division within the party for the next couple of weeks or so - perhaps longer.

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