Some top conservative pundits at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference taking place in Washington, D.C. this week, say they are uninspired by frontrunner Mitt Romney and the rest of the current crop of presidential candidates, and are somewhat begrudgingly accepting the reality that the nominee – whether it turns out to be Romney or Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich – won’t encompass all of their values.
“I’m definitely not that passionate about this field and I don’t think I’m alone out there,” conservative pundit Andrew Breitbart told The Fiscal Times. “That these are the best representatives in a country where conservatives outnumber liberals 2-to-1 puzzles me. We need a fearless leader, and I don’t see one here.”
"We need a fearless leader and I don't see one here."
According to Breitbart, a big reason for a lackluster field is the Tea Party’s inability to unite their local activist groups into a national voice that demanded a small-government conservative get to the White House. “In terms of coming up with a national political figure, the Tea Party movement wasn’t built to do that and hasn’t evolved to do that,” Breitbart said. “I don’t think people knew that it had to have that ability going into this election cycle—they just thought it would happen naturally.”
Conservative radio personality Guy Benson had a similar reaction. “I’m not especially energized by any of the Republican candidates,” Benson said. “I think there are a lot of potential candidates who did not run who would have engendered more passion than the people we have, and conservatives know that. But there’s no crying over spilled milk. We have what we have and it is what it is.
A headline today in Powerline, a popular conservative blog, asked, “Is 2012 Slipping Away From The GOP?” Blogger John Hinderaker wrote, “If you are a Republican, the vibes are very bad. The presidential primary season has turned into a disaster, in my view. Mitt Romney has shown a discouraging inability to appeal to the party’s base, while the race has damaged both Romney and the party. Newt Gingrich, in particular, sacrificed the party to his own ego by launching left-wing attacks against Romney.”