Scott Galupo observes that Jennifer Rubin’s pro-Romney cheerleading has suddenly vanished now that he is yesterday’s man, and adds:
You know what might help improve conservative “messaging” problems in future campaigns? A more honest class of professional pundits.
Rubin was an extreme example of completely shameless Romney boosterism over the last year, but like a lot of other partisans she defended many Romney blunders during the campaign no matter how absurd they might have been. This wasn’t just a matter of covering for a candidate’s mistakes, which is what one can expect from partisan supporters. More often, this involved celebrating the candidate’s failures as brilliant masterstrokes that would carry the ticket to victory. According to this view, Romney’s foreign trip was a triumph, his response to the Benghazi and Cairo attacks was appropriate and correct, and his 47% comments were a clever indictment of the incumbent’s agenda.
There was a brief period in late September when many conservative activists claimed to be pleased by Romney’s 47% comments because they thought he was making a valid and vitally important argument. Because it was neither valid nor popular, that particular pro-Romney argument died away fairly quickly, but the partisan impulse to make excuses for one’s candidate and otherwise “get with the program” remained as strong as ever. Once Romney lost, his partisan boosters could return to their previous disdain for him, and they were suddenly free to be embarrassed by him. Partisan and personal political incentives now direct these former boosters to create as much distance between the party and its failed nominee as possible. It should be kept in mind that it was the same impulse that earlier drove Romney supporters to ignore all of the signs that their candidate was failing and to overlook the evidence that he was a poor candidate for the Presidency.