Then there were three: Mitt, Newt, and Rick Santorum. Two, really, if we give credence to current polling: Mitt and Newt.
As for Newt, his place as the Great Conservative Hope is baffling, considering his long history of inside-the-Beltway shenanigans. These days he certainly talks the talk, though his attacks on capitalism and Mitt Romney’s wealth are troubling.
For what it’s worth, if we did nominate Newt, I know he’d shred Obama in debates. But we’re electing a president, not a debating team captain. And I don’t think Newt can beat Obama. Too much personal baggage, for starters. Too mercurial, too prone to spout grand ideas that are half-baked.
As for Mitt, say what you will about him, he’s clean as a hound’s tooth and while he has supported liberal positions in the past, since 2008 he seems to have straightened out and flown right.
Conservatives, me included, should go with Bill Buckley’s advice: support the most conservative candidate who can win. Like it or not, right now that’s Mitt Romney.
Unless you’d rather feel good and go down in flames with Newt.