Now that Rudy is officially out, several people have been asking me my thoughts on the race now. I'm in a slight funk, so I'm still working out my thoughts. Officially there are still four candidates left: McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Paul.
Paul has never been a factor and never had a chance and still doesn't.
Huckabee also is done. After big losses in SC and FL, he has no chance because if he couldn't win in the friendly south, no way he can win the bigger blue states versus McCain.
The race is now down to McCain and Romney. McCain seems to have the most momentum, especially now with Giuliani and Arnold endorsing him. Also, with Huckabee staying in the race it is pulling some support from Romney, which some are suggesting is part of a strategy for Huck to get the VP nod. If I had to make a prediction right now, I'd predict it is McCain's to lose barring some Dean scream moment.
Being I had to cast my vote by abseentee due to being over here, I've already voted for Rudy in VA. However, who would I vote for between these two and why if I had the chance? That is a very good question and not one I can answer easily.
If you look back at my endorsement post where I ranked all the current candidates in the order that I like them, I have McCain ahead of Romney. My reasoning back then was due to all of Romney's flip-flops on issues of importance. Like I said of Rudy, at least with McCain, I know where he stands and where we disagree. He was also at the time sounding like he was learning some lessons that made him slightly more palatable. For example on immigration he was saying he heard the American people and that the fence needs to be built first before any other option of his plan can have a chance. That to me at least showed a little that he can learn from his mistakes.
However, now that he is clearly the front runner and apparently doesn't think he needs to appeal as much to the conservative base, he is very quickly going back to the McCain we all know and have convulsions over. That is a huge hit for him for me b/c one thing he had going for him was his "straight talk." I didn't agree with him on a lot of things, but I knew where he stood.
All that to say, right now I'm leaning more towards Romney. I still hold to my statement that he hasn't passed the smell test due to his previous statements of being to the left of Kennedy, but he has put himself on a very short limb with his statements in the campaign. If he doesn't live up to his new found conservative values, he knows he has absolutely no shot to be re-elected were he to win in Novemeber as it would be a "read my lips" campaign made in heaven for the Dems in 2012.
Finally, as I've said all along, no matter who the eventual Repub nominee is, I will support that person b/c as I also laid out in my endorsement post, every single one of them is a better option to either of the two Dems left in the race. And if it comes down to McCain vs Clinton, all I'll have to do is put a picture on my desk of her with the title, Madam President, and I'll have all the motivation I need.