Why the GOP (and Democrats) Should Be Thankful for Mitt Romney

Obama, Romney, and the GOP all have something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

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[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

Of course, Republicans aren't the only ones who should be thankful for Romney. Democrats can celebrate that while he is the strongest GOPer, it doesn't mean he is strong. Romney may get the nomination, but it will be grudgingly, from a party that exhausted every alternative before settling. Consider the good luck the White House must be celebrating. Obama's signature achievement—healthcare reform—has failed to gain the public approval Democrats had hoped for (the Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported that it had reached a new low in popularity). As Obamacare's policy godfather—the national law was modeled after his Massachusetts version—Romney is uniquely unqualified to prosecute the case against it.

And while Obama is rapped for lacking the common political touch, Romney has a special combination of poor interpersonal skills and a tin political ear (see his comment that corporations are people too or his defense of foreclosures). While people believe Obama has his heart in the right place, the location of Romney's heart remains a mystery. His biggest weakness remains his elusive core beliefs, a weakness underscored by the report last week that in 2002 gubernatorial candidate Romney argued to abortion-rights activists that "you need someone like me in Washington."

Someone like whom, exactly? That's a question the Democratic National Committee has already started hammering. I for one will be grateful if it's not a question we have to ponder in the context of a new administration one year from now.

  • See a slide show of 10 issues driving Obama's re-election campaign.
  • Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.
  • Read Rick Newman on how Republicans can torpedo the economy.