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In the fast-paced world of politics, one day can make a big difference.
One month of campaigning and debating for president can seem like an eternity—and wow, the difference it can make.
As we creep closer to the Republican and Democratic conventions, the field of presidential candidates is dwindling.
Some candidates I was glad to see go. John Edwards, for example.
But for others—Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney— I was saddened to see them bid farewell.
I definitely saw potential in the two candidates. About a month ago when I reported from the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, I was so excited to see so many qualified candidates took the stage to fight for the right to lead this country.
I remember thinking how pleasantly surprised I was to see depth in the Republican roster.
While the candidates had different views on taxes, immigration, healthcare and education, they all came together to rally behind the one issue that is the key to my vote—national security.
When I read last Thursday that Mitt Romney was suspending his campaign I was surprised and saddened at his decision.
But with John McCain clearly establishing himself as the man to beat in this race, it didn’t appear that Romney would be able to play catch-up with votes before the Republican convention.
Romney’s decision to suspend his campaign for the Republican nomination ultimately is for the betterment of the party and the country.
“If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator (Hillary) Clinton or (Barack) Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror,” Romney said of his decision to suspend his campaign last Thursday.
Of course, one could argue his concession came after a strategic or previously arranged deal where he would secure the vice-presidential slot if he threw in the towel for the No. 1 job.
But by conceding, Romney allows Republican voters to rally behind the nominee, not to split the votes between three candidates. Many of the more conservative Republicans say McCain is not conservative enough to earn their vote.
In fact I heard Ann Coulter say twice (which is two times too many) that Hillary Clinton is more conservative than McCain, and if he were the Republican nominee, she would cast her ballot in favor of Clinton.
I do not agree with Coulter, but I think her comments expose the way many conservative voters view McCain—just not conservative enough to earn their votes.
With a conservative running mate, which can be found in either Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee, McCain can hopefully appeal to the more conservative voters to ensure the candidate who will best protect and defend our country and our freedoms will end up in the Oval Office.
“This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters, many of you right here in this room have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming president. If this were only about me, I would go on.
But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country,” Romney said.
Yes, I am saddened to see another dynamic candidate bow out of the race, but perhaps his desire to make a run at the White House will still be fulfilled.
Even McCain needs a good co-pilot.