He could have been bitter. He could have taken some shots. He didn't. At the Conservative CPAC convention Mitt Romney bowed out. Here's the crucial part:
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 Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.
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.
I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism!!
Romney's love of America. It's a great line and a great way to bow out. Romney is going to be a player in GOP circles for years to come. Maybe McCain will tap him as Secretary of the Treasury if it gets that far. Either way, he's 60-years-old and if the Democrats win in 2008, he'll be back in four years and time heals all wounds - most of them.
It was interesting that Romney didn't endorse McCain. The CPAC farewell speech was not the venue for it, but I'm sure it will come at some point. Look, Romney will back the GOP nominee. That was very implicit in his speech today.
I'm sure there are people that will take their shots at Romney now that he's gone. But look, his campaign was top notch. The people who supported him love this country and are true blue Americans. But look at what happened between Huckabee and Romney. Huckabee had no organization, but they had a messenger with great oratory skills and with an authentic message. Romney had organization, but couldn't close the deal because of authenticity problems and that is a very important emotional connection that is needed with voters. You might think the emotional connection is overrated. I beg to disagree.