Will Mitt Go Quietly?

February 28, 2012 6:42 a.m.

I’ve addressed this a few times. But it’s probably worth doing again.

This morning I got this email from TPM Reader SL

I don’t really hear anyone talking about what Romney would do if (he loses Michigan) and the GOP leaders look for a white horse candidate. Does anyone really think he would just step aside for a new nominee or hand over his delegates at a brokered convention?

He has been running for this job for years. He has plenty of money. They cant offer him a bigger job, financial power, etc. So what could the party leaders offer him to step aside. It wouldn’t be “wait until next time” because stepping aside would show he is damaged goods politically.

It sure looks like Michigan will be a close finish so either way the conversation of a white horse will likely get louder.

I would love to see you address this in an article.

SL’s question, I think, all but answers itself. And this is basically why the whole White Knight fantasy is so preposterous. Go quietly. Mitt? Like he did when it was time for Newt to take it away from him? Or Santorum? As I wrote a few days ago, “Okay, cool. I’m still ahead in delegates. I’ve got tons of money. I’m not sure what else I’ll do with my life at this point beside do this. But sure, I’m just going to step aside now and become the only mulligan nominee in modern history.”

Again, not going to happen. And really, why should he? Absent some massive, crippling scandal, which seems all but unimaginable from Mitt, he remains by far the most plausible and competitive candidate against President Obama.

So yeah, that’s the problem. Even if you find the fabled White Knight (most of whom seem to be people who were 2nd or 3rd string a year ago), how long and how much damage does that guy endure finally dispatching Mitt? And where’s he get the money, starting tomorrow?

It’s just a silly idea. Because Mitt go quietly? Of course, not. And he’s gotten a lot of practice over the last few months absolutely destroying opponents.

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