What conservatives fear more than almost anything else is Republican politicians who won’t help us defend them. This happened in W’s second term, when his administration failed to respond to one crazed left-wing attack after another. It happened in 2008, when John McCain seemed to prefer running a gentlemanly, after-you-Alphonse campaign to winning (not that he could have won in any event, after the financial meltdown in September). But it isn’t happening in 2012.
The Romney campaign–so far, at least–is quick, agile and aggressive. There is no sign that activists will be left in the lurch by a hunkered-down, defensive organization. On the contrary: the Romney campaign looks to be the most effective Republican operation since the Reagan administration. Seriously.
Yesterday the Obama campaign launched a really stupid attack, accusing Romney of having laid off a number of employees of a steel company in which Bain Capital invested. It turned out that the layoff occurred two years after Romney (but not one of Obama’s major bundlers) had left Bain. The Romney campaign responded immediately with a good video about a company, Steel Dynamics, that created far more jobs than the other company lost:
In fact, Steel Dynamics is now the fifth largest producer of carbon steel products in United States. Later in the day, the Romney campaign put up a web site called GST Steel: Get the Facts that constitutes a comprehensive rebuttal of the Obama campaign’s claims. Which is rather impressive; obviously, the Romney campaign saw this one coming and had its response ready to go. Insiders in the campaign have told me that they have analyzed every investment made by Bain during the time Romney was there, and are ready with a similar response to any know-nothing attack Obama might launch.
Ideas dominate at the end of the day, but in the meantime, money is important too. Early this morning, I attended an organizational meeting of the Romney financial organization in Minnesota. The campaign’s fundraising goals are lofty–if they are met, it is conceivable that, for once, the Republican candidate will actually have more money spent on his behalf than the Democrat. That may seem inconceivable, but in 2012 it might be a reality, especially if Obama’s fundraising falters as seems to be the case so far.
So, based on everything we have seen to date, I don’t think conservative activists should be at all reluctant to get behind the Romney campaign 100%. Every indication is that the campaign will vigorously pursue a conservative agenda and will aggressively carry the fight to our opponents.