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Aspiring presidential candidates must eventually come to the realization that only one person can receive their party’s nomination. At some point it becomes clear that one of their rivals has amassed an impressive number of delegates, and that the most reasonable course of action to take is to gracefully exit the race. At this point a crucial decision must be made. Should the “dropout” endorse the winner? After all, Mr. Dropout may be diametrically opposed to the winner on a host of issues. But, then there is the ever important notion of “party unity.” Mr. Dropout needs to remember that principles are not important. What matters is keeping members of the party focused on the one task that trumps all other concerns: beating the opposing party’s candidate in the general election.

For this post Mr. Dropout will be played by the well coifed, “presidential-looking,” Mitt Romney. Of course, Mr. Romney suspended his presidential campaign in early February. Before that, however, he had some harsh words for the man who is now the all but certain Republican nominee, John McCain. Just before the Florida primary Romney was sharply critical of McCain’s positions on reducing the role of money in politics, immigration, and his support of an energy bill that would reputedly drive up customer costs. He said:

“If you ask people, ‘Look at the three things Senator McCain has done as a senator,’ if you want that kind of a liberal Democrat course as president, then you can vote for him,” Romney told campaign workers. “But those three pieces of legislation, those aren’t conservative, those aren’t Republican, those are not the kind of leadership that we need as we go forward.”

But remember,  those were Romney’s words before the contest in Florida. We would soon hear from a different Mitt. This one, freshly removed from the presidential race after taking a severe beating at the polls on Super Tuesday, was now endorsing John McCain. So, what about his leadership qualities now Mitt?

“I am honored today to give my full support to Sen. McCain’s candidacy for the presidency of the United States,” Romney said in a joint news conference with Sen. McCain by his side.

“This is a man capable of leading our country in this dangerous hour.”

Oh, that’s right. How could I have forgotten? “In this dangerous hour.” He must be referring to all of those nasty “ay-rabs” that need a good killin.’ Right Mr. Romney?

“I disagree with Sen. McCain on a number of issues,” Romney said. “But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and I agree with him on eliminating al Qaeda and terror worldwide.”

And don’t forget about “party unity.” A source from inside the Romney camp said he “wants to help McCain move faster to secure the nomination and unite the party for the general election against the Democrats for November.”

And there we have it. Who cares what kind of political principles you hold? As long as you pledge to kill all the terrorists, unite the party, and defeat Democrats, you are welcomed as the flag bearer of the Republican party.

Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule. Here’s one Republican who never strays from his principles, for any reason. Guess who!

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