Romney: Hold a rally or hold your nose
I'm not gonna lie to ya. Regardless of which GOP candidate emerges as the nominee for President, I will vote for said candidate. Period. End of story.
But here's the issue facing many grassroots activists: Will you work to elect the nominee, regardless of who it is? I understand that many people who are right-of-center politically would cast the proverbial "hold their nose" vote for Mitt Romney if indeed he is the Republican candidate for President in 2012. But there just doesn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for a Romney candidacy should that come to pass (which seems more likely these days).
We must not take for granted that President Barack Obama, despite his low approval ratings as well as presiding over a porous economy, is a sure loser come Election Day 2012. It's going to take some effort to ensure his defeat but, as opposed to 2008 when he was a veritable Pied Piper, it is very doable. Conventional wisdom is that the support of party establishment alone is not enough to get a candidate elected. There must be political machines behind that person, machines which will tout a candidate's strengths and what he'll bring to the Oval Office. If the prevailing sentiment surrounding Romney is "He's not Obama", that isn't nearly enough to increase voter turnout, which is another key factor in ousting an incumbent President.
Now I'm not suggesting we need a "rock star" type candidate who will be a cult of personality like we witnessed with Bill Clinton in 1992 and Obama in 2008. But at the very least, the Republicans need to nominate a candidate who provides a stark contrast (and major upgrade) over a scuffling President. From what I can tell, Romney may not be that candidate, especially when you consider the health care bill he singed into law as Governor of Massachusetts in many ways resembles Obamacare. Speaking of which, Romney, when pressed, has said he will indeed sign a repeal of the Obamacare law if he is President. If that's true, then something else needs to happen in 2012: The Republicans need to flip the Senate.
So if you're a conservative and a President Mitt Romney doesn't exactly fire you up, plan to vote for him anyways if he's the GOP candidate. But in the mean time, pour all your grassroots activist energy into electing a Republican Senator in your state. With the GOP likely to maintain (if not increase) their solid majority in the House, attaining a majority in the Senate would go a long way to passing a repeal of Obamacare. From there, a President Romney need not be reminded of his campaign promise. However, the Republican-controlled Congress, as well as the American people, will likely present him with not-so-subtle reminders.