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Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ROMNEY'S REBOUNDEDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNALFor all of his struggles as a campaigner, Mitt Romney doesn't lack for resilience.


For all of his struggles as a campaigner, Mitt Romney doesn't lack for resilience. That character trait is essential in a President, and Mr. Romney proved again Tuesday that he has it by winning primaries in Arizona and in an especially rough contest against Rick Santorum in Michigan. Mr. Romney never makes it look easy, but as Hillary Clinton knows from 2008, victory beats the alternative. ... The candidates can help themselves if they stop playing the game of who-is-the-real-conservative? They are all conservatives of one stripe or another. GOP voters want to hear a critique of Mr. Obama, but above all they want to hear an agenda and vision for a better future that can rally a majority to defeat him.

G.O.P. GREEK TRAGEDYBY MAUREEN DOWDNEW YORK TIMESRick should scat. Mitt Romney needs to be left alone to limp across the finish line, so he can devote his full time and attention to losing to President Obama. Robo-Romney, who pulled out victories in his home state and in Arizona, and Sanctorum are still in a race to the bottom. Yet the once ruthless Republican Party seems to have pretty much decided to cave on 2012 and start planning for a post-Obama world. Not even because Obama is so strong; simply because their field is so ridiculously weak and wacky. John McCain has Aeschylated it to “a Greek tragedy.” And he should know from Greek tragedy.THERE BE DRAGONSBY THOMAS FRIEDMANNEW YORK TIMESThe Arab/Muslim awakening phase is over. Now we are deep into the counter-revolutionary phase, as the dead hands of the past try to strangle the future. I am ready to consider any ideas of how we in the West can help the forces of democracy and decency win. But, ultimately, this is their fight. They have to own it, and I just hope it doesn't end - as it often does in the land of dragons - with extremists going all the way and the moderates just going away.SANTORUM'S FAILED PANDERING TO BLUE COLLAR WORKERSBY KATHLEEN PARKERWASHINGTON POSTWhat Santorum was obliquely referring to is his sense that today’s college and university campuses are hotbeds of socialism and liberal theology ... [he] could have talked about those things and earned a rapt audience. The myth of college-for-everyone deserves to be challenged. ... Instead, Santorum elected to pander to the idea that ignorance beats an education that might lead one to become an elite. His words, in addition to being false, were, dare we say, rather snobbish. How else to characterize speaking to people as though they aren’t capable of recognizing truth — or that their children aren’t smart enough to go to college and, grasping the flaws of liberalism, stay true to the conservative values with which they were raised? As the elite said to the snob: Piffle.MITT ROMNEY'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH, IN (MOSTLY) HIS OWN WORDSBY DANA MILBANKWASHINGTON POSTTAMPA, Aug. 30, 2012  -- It is particularly meaningful to accept your nomination in Florida, a state where so many of my friends own so many things. The Miami Dolphins. The Orlando Magic. The Jacksonville Jaguars. The Doral country club. In fact, I have great friends who own some of Florida’s finest hotels, resorts, yachts and most valuable tracts of real estate, from Palm Beach to Naples. ... I am accepting your nomination tonight on behalf of the millions of Americans who fear they will get the pink slip — a fear I have felt as well. I may not have struggled to make a mortgage payment, but my great friends the Marriotts run many lodging facilities. ... So let us go forth from this convention to win the White House. To those who say that we cannot win, I have a simple reply: I’ll bet you 10,000 bucks. MICHIGAN PRIMARY WAS AN OPPORUTNITY BLOWN FOR RICK SANTORUMBY E.J. DIONNEWASHINGTON POSTHe had a real chance of winning Michigan and throwing Romney’s campaign into chaos. He went ahead in the polls after his trifecta of victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. But he couldn’t close the deal. And women were the key to his defeat. The two candidates ran close to even among men; most of Romney’s margin came from women. A victory tonight would have established Santorum as the unquestioned leader of the Republican right. Now, he will have to continue to fight to fend off Newt Gingrich for that honor.IN MICHIGAN PRIMARY, ROMNEY DODGES A BULLETBY ED ROGERSWASHINGTON POSTNext Tuesday’s primaries will be very competitive, but Romney has the advantage.  Michigan was an ugly win for Romney but a loss would have been hideous. Style points don’t matter anymore. This is now hand-to-hand combat for the delegates.  ... Arizona has 11 votes at stake in November and Michigan has 16. But, Arizona’s 11 votes are essential to a Republican victory in a close race, while a Republican can win the election without Michigan’s electoral votes. It is likely that Michigan will vote for President Obama. ... In Arizona, where Republicans have to win in November, Romney won big. Obama does not benefit from whatever bad feeling may linger in Michigan after this tough primary fight.