With Sarah Palin out, Mark Sanford becoming the star of a tacky Telenovela (El Gubernador y la Skank), and Tim Pawlenty becoming known as the RINO from the nutball state that elected Jesse Ventura and Al Franken, pundits are suggesting Mitt Romney is beginning to look like the last man standing for the 2012 Republican Nom; primarily on the basis that he seems to be the only Republican left who can keep his nads in his pants. (Meghan McCain may not like it, but that sort of thing still matters to Republican primary voters.)
The pundit class also argue that Romney’s big handicap is the bigotry of conservative evangelical voters against Mormons. That cannot be discounted, it was what motivated and propelled Mike Huckabee’s minions. But next time around, Southern evangelicals may be more accepting of the Mormon thing because of the role of Mormons in passing Prop 8 and the vicious anti-Mormon attacks from the Gay Left and the media that followed.
Two cliches apply here: Politics makes strange bedfellows and nothing unites like a common enemy. The Gay Left eagerly took the bloody hands of the Islamo-Fascists in common cause against George W. Bush and the “Christian Right.” The backlash against Prop 8 may be enough to unite some of the evangelical right with the Mormons, or at least make them get past their visceral disdain.
IMHO, Romney’s real handicap is that he comes across like a big phony. I’m not saying that he is, but his shifting positions on abortion and amnesty most definitely have the appearance of opportunism.