More on the right-leaning Establishment’s selection of the 2016 candidate here from one of the smartest thinkers on the Right (full disclosure: I went to elementary school with him). He notes an interesting enthusiasm gap these elites had for Mitt Romney compared to other candidates they found palatable — which makes his presence on the 2016 all the more confounding until you realize that these same elite donors were actually pretty comfortable with an Obama second term, as he had proven that he was not going to disturb their interests in any serious way. It was vastly more appealing to them than a Ron Paul candidacy.
Ponnuru also blames the boring GOP shortlist (Jeb, Mitt, Chris) on the “limited imagination” of the donor class. On this, I have to respectfully disagree. I think the Establishment donors have thought about every single potential nominee in the field before plunking down their investment, same as they would evaluate every stock or commodity before making an investment on the markets. I don’t believe they aren’t backing Ted Cruz simply because they haven’t thought about him. I believe they won’t back him because they thought about him all too much, and have judged him an unreliable when it comes to things that concern them. Cruz’s red-meat conservative stances endears him to the Tea Party, but some of these stances — on immigration in particular — also alienate him with the only people who really matter in the primary process.
I really can’t see anyone being nominated on the GOP side who isn’t considered a “squish” (at best!) on immigration by the rank-and-file or by talk radio. Not when the donor class is so invested in open borders and in upholding Obama’s amnesty. And if this means that Hillary has to win instead in 2016… then, in their minds: so be it.