Leon H Wolf (formerly supporting Brownback) has decided to "toss in" with Romney
Regarding the candidates and his assessment of them Leon first quoted himself from a year ago, and then explained his current assessment (2nd paragraph):
As I said several months ago - in a three-way race between Romney, Giuliani, and McCain, I'd vote for Romney. Apart from Brownback (who can't win, however much I like him), there are no personally committed pro-lifers on the 2008 slate. While a committed pro-lifer would certainly be the most desirable choice, the second choice would be a guy who knows which side his bread is buttered on. So, if faced with a choice between a guy like McCain, who has a pretty good pro-life voting record, but recently joined Christine Todd-Whitman's "We hate the religious right" PAC, his voting record is less important than the fact that he's historically shown a willingness to spit in the eye of social conservatives just for kicks and press accolades. Mitt, on the other hand, can apparently be trusted to pander to the voters he needs, which in this case is us.Wow . . . that's some harsh language for Huck.
That analysis still stands. For a while, the Fred Thompson campaign gave me hope for someone who might be a little more solid on the issue, but looking at the polling right now leads me inescapably to the conclusion that Fred Thompson is toast. He's not polling any higher than third in any state right now, and Romney has even moved into second in the crucial state of Florida. I just don't know that Thompson has what it takes to get back up off the mat right now. And while I feel a lot better about supporting McCain than I did a year ago, I still just can't make myself trust him at all. I made it a special point to get on McCain's conference call last week so that I could hopefully get just that little assurance I needed to sway me into his camp - and in my estimation, he blew the question. Like I said, I could get behind McCain a lot more easily than I could at this point last year, but he still isn't my first choice. As for Huckabee? Well, let's just say that I lived in Arkansas while he was governor, and my state tax burden was higher than my federal tax burden. And also that I worked on Jim Holt's 2004 campaign. I hope that explains why I have never seriously considered voting for him.
For Romney he had some interesting points (still very balanced and objective in his views):
The guy, I think, did a good-faith job of governing as a conservative in a liberal state. He's shown a real competence at managing organizations - which, let's face it, is a welcome change of pace after the last four years. His persoal history is squeaky clean - absolutely no skeletons in the closet. . . . I don't seriously doubt that he'll govern as a conservative. I have, in all honesty, a *lot* less doubt about that than I had about Bush in 1999.
. . .
The bottom line for me right now is that for all my personal naysaying and doubting, I have to admit in the end that Romney has worked the hardest, run the smartest campaign, and outlasted all other Republican comers save Rudy, and we all know how I feel about Rudy. In the end, if I had to choose between seeing Romney and Rudy standing, it wouldn't even be a close call. When I examine the field, I see only one candidate left standing with a reasonable shot of winning the White House who would govern as a conservative, and that candidate is Mitt Romney. So from now on, I'm tossing in with him, for better or worse.
In closing, let me say a few things that I hope some Romney supporters will take to heart. It doesn't really do a lot of good to pretend that Romney is perfect, or that he hasn't made a mistake, or that his positions on certain things haven't changed. That's just insulting to people's intelligence and it turns people off from the candidate. May I humbly suggest that the better way to convince skeptical Republican voters that Romney is someone they could support is to encourage them to ask themselves, "Will he govern as a conservative?" I know that part of the reason it took me so long to come around to this position is that I heard too many people saying the former, and not enough repeatedly asking me the latter.
Well, I must admit that I've been guilty of defending Romney's record tooth and nail and stating how it's been distorted and manipulated. It might be wiser for me to open up the bigger picture as Leon suggests. However, I suspect well see more people like Leon coming along half-way reluctantly to Romney. That's what happens when the field narrows and the alternative is Rudy. As Fred continues his fizzle and Huckabee can't quite make the sale in Iowa, the social conservative movement will solidify strongly around Romney and Rudy won't stand a chance come Tsunami Tuesday.