Because of CPAC, the eyes of American conservatism fall on Washington D. C. over the next few days. Here, Mitt Romney has the chance to state his case.
I have not had much enthusiasm for Romney, but he does bring strengths into the general election. Santorum's recent surge may be enough to jolt Romney into giving a strong and powerful address at CPAC tomorrow. What would I say, were I Romney?
Romney has a record as Massachusetts governor that does not match well to mainline American free market conservative ideals. No matter how often Ann Coulter tries to put lipstick on this pig, she cannot make it attractive.
That being said, Romney needs to admit that Massachusetts is a pig of a state for a conservative to govern.
As Reagan struggled to implement conservative ideals as governor of California, Romney faced powerful limits to what he could accomplish in his own state. Let's face it, most Massachusetts conservatives would be liberal in the heartland. He faced a totally different culture. All he has to do is repeatedly say that he did the best he could to hold the line against big government. The best defense of Romneycare is that such a plan was inevitable in the Commonwealth and that he did the best he could to keep it as limited as possible.
As far as Bain is concerned, attacks on his business make him that much more attractive to free market conservatism. He made tough choices and saved jobs that otherwise would have disappeared.
Romney must explain himself to conservatives. He needs their enthusiasm, as well as their support. We really want to enthusiastically support someone this summer and fall. Will some candidate step forward and give us a reason?