Quote of the Day: Conservatives Still Highly Skeptical of Romney

Our political Quote of the Day comes from The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz who notes the continued, deeply felt skepticism towards and lack of enthusiasm over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among conservatives. Kurtz outlines conservative bigwigs who aren’t really sold on Romney’s conservative credentials, conservative bloggers, conservative talk show hosts — a collection of quotes giving further proof that Romney hasn’t sealed the deal. It’s just that conservatives now realize they have run out of 2012 Presidential nominee options.

Here’s the final part of his piece:

The most influential Romney sympathizer in the media may be Matt Drudge, who fills his Web page with pro-Romney headlines and links to stories trashing Santorum and Gingrich. But Drudge has scoffed at any notion of a pro-Romney conspiracy (few know he once had dinner with Santorum). He views himself as a Wizard of Oz, pulling levers from behind the curtain that will boost traffic to his site, regardless of the target.

And so the debate rages on. [Red State found and CNN contributor Eric] Erickson, the Georgia blogger, actually backed Romney in 2007—only to yank the endorsement in disgust. Now, he says, “we are in a bizarre world where Ann Coulter argues Romneycare is conservative.” The flamboyant Coulter once declared that Republicans would lose if Romney got the nomination. Now she is vouching for his right-wing credentials—and bluntly informing the former governor that “you owe me.”

The dreariest scenario for conservative media types, as a Fox executive admits, would be having to halfheartedly defend a Romney administration. Opinion-mongers are in the business of attracting audiences, generating clicks, building brands, stoking outrage—which is very different from assembling a governing coalition.

And what will the dead-enders do if Romney falls short? Lowry sees an “internal bloodbath,” with some pundits already “setting themselves up to say, ‘We told you he was going to lose because he wasn’t conservative enough.’ There’s no question it would be better for everyone’s place in the marketplace to have another Obama term.”

Erickson, meanwhile, is struggling to reconcile himself to the inevitable outcome. He wonders whether an aide’s remark, likening Romney to an Etch a Sketch, “was a little too telling. I’m still not sure what we’re getting.”

Here’s a more likely outcome if Romney wins:

Voters would get “Monopoly” and conservatives would get “Etch a Sketch.”