Well, color me surprised.
Mitt Romney was not my first choice for a presidential candidate, but he came third after Duncan Hunter and Fred Thompson. He's far more conservative than McCain, and while there was a question of flip-flopping on some issues, he seemed far more trustworthy than McCain and, God forbid, Clinton or Obama. My support ran to Mitt after the two most conservative candidates left the race, and I was genuinely saddened when he dropped out, especially when he said this:
Now, I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, and finding and executing Osama bin Laden. And I agree with him on eliminating Al Qaida and terror worldwide.
Now, if I fight on, in my campaign, all the way to the convention...
I want you to know, I've given this a lot of thought -- I'd forestall the launch of a national campaign and, frankly, I'd make it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win.
Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.
This isn't an easy decision. I hate to lose.
My family, my friends, you, my supporters across the country, you've given a great deal to get me to where I have a shot to becoming president. If this were only about me, I'd go on. But it's never been only about me. I entered this race -- I entered this race because I love America. And because I love America, in this time of war, I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country.
I will continue to stand for conservative principles. I'll fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of the things we believe in is that we cannot allow the next president of the United States to retreat in the face of evil extremism.
And so, Romney bowed out gracefully, something that Mike Huckabee cannot seem to get the hang of. And I was supremely disappointed that he dropped out, because he was the closest we had left to a conservative, even though some thought Mitt Romney would be unelectable in the general election (I disagree).
Well, there may yet be some hope -- he may be returning to the race.
Josh Romney, one of former Gov. Mitt Romney's five sons, says it's "possible" his father may rejoin the race for the White House, either as a vice presidential candidate or seek to become the Republican Party's standard bearer if the campaign of Sen. John McCain falters.
He's asked about speculation that given the McCain troubles his father might re-enter the Republican race either as a candidate for the top spot or as the party nominee's vice presidential partner and Romney replies it's "possible." Then, he adds, "unlikely, but possible."
It was the first sign from the Romney camp or family that the former Massachusetts governor's political plans for 2008 were anything but over.
Such a move could provide a possible rallying point for conservatives, who awaited a perfect conservative candidate and held back from supporting Romney all during 2007 while the campaigns of other conservatives including Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Fred Thompson collapsed.
I would love to see Mitt reenter the race, as a vice presidential candidate or, even better, as a presidential candidate once again. He would be a vast improvement over McCain and Huckabee.
I still think that if McCain ends up our nominee we need to be united behind him. But I think we all would be able to do that much more willingly with Mitt Romney as our candidate. It's a long shot, but it's hope, and isn't that one of the keywords of this election season anyways?