During the primary, Mitt Romney’s boosters always had one compelling argument: “If your main goal was to defeat Barack Obama,” they repeated over and over, “then Romney was the only candidate capable of running a serious, competent, campaign against him.”
Perhaps that argument has been proven right?
As you might have gathered, running a competent campaign includes — demands — the ability to raise a lot of money. In this regard, Romney is already proving his pragmatic boosters correct. As ABC News’ Rick Klein notes,
Mitt Romney is coming off a record-setting, $6 million to $8 million day in Michigan — yes, Michigan — with a super, mega fundraising weekend coming in Utah this weekend. The Obama campaign, meanwhile, filed an FEC report showing it’s already spending more than it’s taking in, to say nothing of the Super PAC disparities. It’s only June, and already Romney has erased, if not reversed, the financial edge of the most prolific fundraiser in American history.
At the end of the day, when it came to finally settling on a nominee — and, for that matter, selecting a Republican National Committee chief — Republicans eschewed more romantic candidates in favor of highly competent leaders. (I’ve previously written about why a strong RNC is crucial for Romney’s success.) It’s quite evident that both Mitt Romney and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus are competent professionals. And they are clearly on the same page.
To be sure, in an effort to oust Obama electorally, Republicans would have circled the wagons around any nominee. Still, it’s hard to imagine that either of Romney’s final primary foes — former Sen. Rick Santorum or former Speaker Newt Gingrich — could have marshaled the logistical infrastructure necessary to rival President Obama’s juggernaut.
Aside from a financial and organizational advantage, Obama clearly hoped he would be able to mock the GOP nominee — to portray Republicans as unserious — as rubes. That’s a much tougher sell these days.
It’s going to be a lot harder for Obama than he might have expected.