I am writing as a Newt supporter so there are bound to be many who will disagree with my assessments; but these are my personal opinions with little room for argument.
Here are the reasons why Newt should stay put:
1. Santorum v. Obama, the best we can do?
I thought the number one goal for most people here is to beat Obama, i.e., ABO, not ABR (anybody-but-Romney). It makes sense for us to rally behind a candidate ONLY IF that candidate is the best we can muster to match up with Obama, not because he is the current non-Romney favorite.
For good reasons, many Newt supporters see Santorum as a featherweight who has little chance come November. There is simply no reason to throw in the towel at this point just to accommodate him.
2. Sorry, every man for himself now
Early on, many had opined that the best way to block Romney was for Santorum and Gingrich to work together and let the other win those states he is strong in. Newt, through his own wisdom and initiative, had been doing exactly that while Santorum was obviously having none of it.
No one can fault Santorum for trying to win as many delegates as he can, but it does reveal two things about his strategies:
- Blocking-Romney was not his priority; and
- He did not want/need collaboration with anyone.
Apparently, Santorum’s focus all along has been to establish himself as the strongest not-Romney standing, blocking Romney be damned. All fair enough and it looks like he just might succeed.
But his actions also made it amply clear that this race is all but every man for himself now, splitting votes be damned. That being the case, there is absolutely no justification for anyone to continue to parrot the call for Newt to drop out, let alone call him egotistic and other terrible names if he doesn’t comply immediately. If people truly cared about conservatism, they should be spending all their energy calling for Romney or Paul to drop out.
Santorum on the stump: “We are in this thing not because I so badly want to be the most powerful man in this country. It’s because I want so badly to return the power to you in this country.” Yeah, right. What hollow cliche.
3. Romney v. Obama or Santorum v. Obama, do we really want to pick?
Ultimately, this entire debate around Newt boils down to whether we believe Romney or Santorum has a better shot at defeating Obama. Honestly, nobody knows. As the saying goes, When in doubt, do nothing.
I believe neither Romney nor Santorum is up to the task of taking on Obama. And as much as I detest Romney, if I have to pick, my money will be on Romney, if only for the fact that many clueless, out of work voters may want to believe he could fix the economy. As for Santorum, I cannot think of one thing to recommend him to anyone outside the congregation of his own church.
4. Only Newt has the right to decide what he should to do next
Newt has weathered a lot going this far and really has very little to lose staying in the race. If he is willing to expend time and effort to continue the fight, it is all good news to me as a true supporter; and I hope he has all the necessary resources to do so.