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With the unbridled enthusiasm of a child swallowing cod liver oil, the Houston Chronicle has endorsed Mitt Romney. Normally assailed by its conservative readers as a bastion of liberal journalism, the Chronicle noted that:

The Republican primaries are doing their job. But it is a job that needs to be completed sooner rather than later if the party is to effectively challenge President Barack Obama in November.

As of this past Tuesday, the field has essentially been winnowed to two: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Rep. Ron Paul has a steadfast core constituency of true believers - and some interesting ideas - but a Paul nomination is fantasy. As is a comeback by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose deficits as a leader overshadow his occasional flashes of policy and rhetorical brilliance.

The GOP's decision to put its candidates through a gauntlet of seemingly endless debates was a well-intended effort to give party primary voters an in-depth look at all of the potential hopefuls. But it has backfired.

Well, it certainly backfired on our witless Secessionist-in-Chief, who showed us all that Texas swagger, post-surgical pain, medication, red wine, and lack of preparation could produce some deeply disturbing results.

It’s only fitting, therefore, that the Chronicle, no great fan of Rick Perry, would post their endorsement of the robotic Romney on Rick’s birthday. If you’re feeling sad about that, here’s the link to wish him a happy birthday. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you’re a day late. Just don’t be a dollar short, though. That boy loves those deep-pocket donations.

Meanwhile, back at the Chronicle...

We say: Stop the shooting. We share the view of many that the Republican Party’s most constructive course going forward is to waste little time and unite behind the candidate most likely to compete effectively against President Obama. In our view, Mitt Romney is that candidate. We endorse Gov. Romney for his party's nomination for president.

You notice they didn’t say “heartily” endorse. One gets the sense that the editor was hounding the  writer, saying: “Look, we’ve saved you the top left space on the editorial page for Sunday. What’s the problem? You know it’s Mitt. Just write the damn thing.”

When Mitt’s involved, the enthusiasm gap takes on Grand Canyon-like dimensions.

Sadly, the real problem in Texas (OK, stop that! I know y’all have got a list. This isn’t the time for that. I’m talking about a serious political problem):

We would have preferred if Texas could have kept its original place on the primary calendar on Super Tuesday, which comes in just two days. But Texas Republicans have their party leaders in Austin to thank for pushing this state's primaries to late May.

The powerful GOP supermajority in the Texas Legislature overreached in the redistricting process, prompting a court challenge by rightly aggrieved Democrats. Subsequently, a panel of federal judges in San Antonio overreached in the opposite direction, drawing the objection of the U.S. Supreme Court and pushing our primaries back nearly to June.

This is a huge mess for our elections. Candidates have been stymied in fundraising and campaigning as Congressional District boundaries are in a state of flux. Our influence in the primary process is also severely diluted.
Our endorsement is intended for the eyes and ears and thoughtful consideration of Texas Republicans, of course, but its timing is intended to send a clear message to Republicans nationwide: Stop self-destructing and begin uniting behind Mitt Romney.
I’m not sure that people other than late-night comedians are looking to Texas for political advice, but just in case they are:
Why Romney? Competence and long experience in the areas that matter most in this election: the economy, the budget deficit, the national debt and experience creating jobs.
Wait... wasn’t that exactly what people were saying about Rick Perry??
A steady presence that inspires confidence among Americans and would command respect among friends and foes alike, and which contrasts sharply with Santorum's tendency to shoot from the hip in ways that raise questions about his political maturity, while drawing attention away from his strengths.
Well, you can be certain that Romney will never shoot from the hip. No sir: his software is programmed to allow him to make carefully thought out responses which he will later repudiate in equally thoughtful terms.
Above all, we see in Romney a credential that is not much discussed among Republicans, and is often viewed as a weakness when it is taken into account. The man won election in and governed effectively in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, perhaps the most liberal bastion in the nation. To do so, he had to be a savvy operator in adverse circumstances - not unlike those that characterize the hyperpartisan Washington world he would be entering if elected president.
Unlike our Secessionist-in-Chief who has been re-elected many a time, Mr. Romney was – supposedly by his own choice – a “once and done” governor. Been there, done that, checked the box, next step: the Presidency.
In his term as governor of the Bay State, Mitt Romney demonstrated political backbone that should appeal widely to Texas Republicans, vetoing legislation no less than 800 times. He is no shrinking violet.

Certainly not. It takes real courage and grit to wield that ball-point pen and veto bill after bill. Why, you’re risking carpal tunnel syndrome with every signature.

Mitt Romney's roots are far from Texas, but his demeanor and devotion to principles such as the right of free people to follow their own destinies, have a familiar, reassuring ring in the Lone Star State.
Not for nothing, but if that’s all we wanted, we could cue up some old cowboy songs and reminisce about the lure of the frontier, with only the moon above and the coyotes in the distance watching over us.
 
It's time to set these differences aside. It's time for Republicans to end the destructive bickering and unite behind Mitt Romney as their candidate for president.

Because he’s good for you. Just like cod liver oil.

8:10 AM PT: Oh, jeez... that third poll options should say "avoid DEBATES", not "rebates". We're all in favor of rebates in this tough economy ;-)


Originally posted to cassandracarolina's fossil record on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:58 AM PST.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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