Yeeesh, what does Mitt Romney have to do to drum up a bit of enthusiasm from his party? Sure, he's got to be feeling pretty content as each day brings another Republican casting aside the somehow-still-going campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to accept the inevitable proposition that Romney will be the party's nominee. Yet few can seem to offer an explanation for why they like Romney beyond the fact that they’re stuck with him. Shortly after I noted John Boehner’s lackluster endorsement yesterday, reporters asked Mitch McConnell for his take on Romney and were given the same nod-and-sigh routine:
“Yeah, I support Governor Romney for president of the United States,” Mr. McConnell said. “And he is going to be the nominee. And as you have noticed, the party is in the process of unifying behind him. And I think it’s going to be an incredibly close, hard-fought race. Everybody is banding — bandying polls around, but just look at the Gallup tracking poll yesterday actually had Governor Romney with a two-point lead. I think it’s going to be a very, very competitive election. We’re all behind him and looking forward to the fall campaign, which is actually already under way.”
It’s not like Romney’s win has come as any surprise to Republicans; it’s a reality they’ve had months to come to terms with. You’d think a few of them would have spent that time writing a rousing argument for why they look forward to campaigning for him over the next six months. It seems particularly odd that McConnell and Boehner are both so blasé. They are about as Republican establishment as it comes, and throughout the primaries, I assumed they were all secretly rooting for Romney and dreading the very thought of a Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich candidacy. But as much as they want to see Barack Obama exit the White House, they seem to share the same enthusiasm for Romney as much of the country.