And they rightly conclude that Romney might depress or suppress Republican enthusiasm. Now, the GOP establishment, their thinking is that Romney is electable in a general...I'm skeptical! This premise has Obama's people and establishment Republicans on the same page!
... but the base, the Republican base is not jazzed. Turnout is obviously gonna be crucial....His point — which he's been making elsewhere on the program — is that Romney isn't a good conservative, and the GOP establishment, which lacks confidence in real conservatism, is pushing Romney. The establishment thinks that's the way to win, but in fact, according to Limbaugh, it's staunch Reaganesque conservatism that wins for Republicans. You need to jazz up the base and pump up turnout. Oddly, in this monologue, the Obama White House understands what the GOP establishment doesn't — that Romney won't inspire enthusiasm.
Earlier in the show, Rush noted that the White House chose the day of the debate to dump records showing — I'm quoting trom the Michael Isikoff's story — that "senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as 'Obamacare.'" Rush saw that move — correctly, I'd say — as evidence that the White House wants to stop Romney.
So is Romney the strongest candidate for the Republicans or not? If the GOP establishment wants him and the White House doesn't, that is overwhelming evidence that Romney is the strongest. But that conclusion conflicts with Rush's dearest belief: that we need a strong conservative. So Rush was desperate yesterday.
And he was just getting the information that Chris Christie was going to endorse Romney. He shifted to that topic (right after the material quoted above):
Now, just as an aside, why would Governor Christie spend a year going back and forth publicly, privately, on and on about whether he would run for president or not; only a week after saying no, run up to Romney's side? What's changed? I mean if in the past year you're thinking you might run, part of that is that whoever else is running isn't the answer. If Romney is the obvious superior candidate, why go through the rigmarole of considering whether to run yourself for a whole year? But you know the story's gonna -- it's already the headline on Drudge, "Christie to Endorse Romney" -- that's gonna be a bigger story than what comes out of the debate tonight. Christie's endorsement is already the story. No matter what happens in the debate tonight, when it's all over, no matter who does what, the story, "Christie Endorses Romney."We heard the desperation yesterday, as Rush Limbaugh struggled to fit his template onto the news that poured out over him. Occam's Razor says Mitt Romney is the strongest candidate for the Republicans, but Rush says nooooooo!
ADDED: Later in the show, Rush assures us that if Romney is the candidate, he "is gonna have my full support because of what we're up against." He's simply trying to take advantage of the opportunity to get a more conservative candidate. And — let's face it — he's got a radio show to do. If Romney has it locked up now, there's a lot less for Rush to rant about 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the next 6 months.