My sad and cynical opinion is that Romney will win the nomination because stronger candidates already know what we all fear: that the damage is done and is likely irreversible.
Suppose your dream candidate were to secure the nomination and win in November. S/He then faces an economy in shambles, a mountain of debt and obligation, a demoralized and depleted military, foreign despots with nuclear arms, and, at home, a dependent underclass that will take to the streets if denied its wants.
Who would feel up to that job?
I have no answers, only tears.
Newt would feel up to that job, and better yet, BE up to that job.
Can’t say the same for anyone else who comes to mind.
The big problem is to recruit conservatives. Unfortunately, you can’t recruit conservatives to run for President, if you don’t have conservatives to choose from in lesser positions. And that means you’ve got to recruit them for the lesser positions as well.
Either that, or run ourselves. If we don’t do those things, then we can’t really blame anyone else for who we get.