Ann Coulter on Hannity last night:
"There was one rule of elections that I had forgotten and I shouldn't have and that is it's very hard to take out an incumbent. That was, as many, many people remember why I abandoned Romney and ran off with Chris Christie in the middle of Obama's term because I just thought -- he's likable, Obama is likable. He's an incumbent, it's going to be very hard to take him out. We are going to need some star power street fighter like Chris Christie. I was wrong about that. I absolutely think that Mitt Romney was the right candidate, the strongest candidate. But it remains true that it's very hard to take out an incumbent. In the last hundred years, Republicans have taken out a sitting president one time and that was Ronald Reagan in 1980." [emphasis added]Uh, but just 20 years ago Democrats took out George H. W. Bush despite an economy that was better than the present one. Coulter chose her analogy field slyly by narrowing it to Republican politics and ignoring 1992.
"I would distinguish between helpful criticism, so we don't make the same mistakes and fighting the last war," Coulter said. "And I think it's preposterous to be nitpicking Mitt Romney as if he's John McCain or Bob Dole. He was no (sic). We saw those debates, that is counterfactual. He was a magnificent candidate and nearly beat an incumbent president." [emphasis added]Dick Morris said he underestimated the new political realities. But, he agrees with Coulter: "If Romney couldn’t manage this trick against Obama in the current economy, no Republican could."
Though I agree with Coulter that Romney was a better candidate than McCain, why did Romney got less votes than McCain? Or should we say, less votes than McCain-Palin?
Neither Coulter nor Morris deal with the Republican vote total. Because the elephant in the room is how much stronger Palin made McCain's much more difficult race with the financial meltdown of September, 2008, than Romney's race this year was.
It's astonishing to hear the "no one could have won" philosophy from someone who encourages conservatives on college campuses where conservatives are the utter underdog and a political expert who knows the history of how Bill Clinton unseated incumbent George H. W. Bush just 20 years ago (though Dick Morris didn't have a part in that win). Lord forbid that either would look at McCain-Palin's 2 million vote gain over Romney's and draw the conclusion that they are wrong about Sarah Palin, the most attractive, smart, charismatic conservative woman in American history.