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May 16, 2011


Why Romney Needs Bachmann

With Mike Huckabee out of the presidential race, Ramesh Ponnuru points out that Mitt Romney's political interests "now align well with those of one other possible candidate: Michele Bachmann. Both of them have an interest in seeing her do as well as possible."

"Like Bob Dole in 1996 or John McCain in 2008, Romney is an establishment-oriented candidate with serious vulnerabilities on his right flank. To get the nomination, he needs (as they needed) to prevent the emergence of a single candidate to his right. So Dole made a tactical alliance with Pat Buchanan in Lousiana, helping to eject from the race the one candidate who could theoretically have denied him the nomination by consolidating voters to his right: Phil Gramm. McCain made a tactical alliance with Mike Huckabee against the candidate against whom both of them were competing and whom both of them hated: Romney."

"The candidate who could play the Buchanan/Huckabee role this time is Michele Bachmann. Like her '96 and '08 counterparts, she cannot win the nomination but can prevent anyone to the establishment candidate's right from getting it either."












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