"Mitt Romney Could Stop Donald Trump. Seriously."
That they see Trump as having an "increasingly viable path to the nomination' is another in the tortured and tortuous admission path where the media started off by considering Trump "a joke a buffoon" grossly underestimating the sullen mood of the American public-but such is the arrogant and conspiratorial media.
The writers admit the obvious, that there is no call for a Romney candidacy, which idea is just silly, and anyway it's too late to mount such a quixotic adventure. Rather they see Romney as the last firewall to the steamrolling Trump campaign;
"But even from the sidelines, Romney holds serious leverage over the direction of the Republican primary -- more sway than many of the candidates themselves. And that's especially true in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, where he remains particularly popular among the GOP rank and file."
If Romney were to get involved in the last month before the [New Hampshire] primary and say, ‘Listen, there are a lot of great people in this race, but Candidate X is the person I’m going to stand with, I think the earned media would be tremendous,” said one high-level New Hampshire Republican strategist, who, like other sources in this story, requested anonymity in order to speak more candidly. “And if he decided not only to go in to endorse, but also hit the road with that candidate, it could be determinative.”
“He would be, more than anyone else, the game-changer on the ground in New Hampshire,” the strategist added."
Leaving aside that at the moment Trump has a massive 18 point lead in New Hampshire currently which fact staggers the imagination that a Romney endorsement could be "determinative" in overcoming such a margin, writing in the Washington examiner Timpthy P. Carney goes the other way, and sees Trump not even a factor! leaving that aside as well (to be resurrected in early February to Mr, Carney's chagrin) he otherwise makes a salient point;
"the only polls that really matter are the polls of Iowa and New Hampshire. Why? Because the results in Iowa and New Hampshire affect voters in the later states."
It is difficult to see how Governor Romney would by his endorsement change matters to the establishments benefit in Iowa. where the leaders are Trump, Cruz and Carson. It would seem no amount of retail campaign by Romney with his anointed would make jot of difference in a state where he lost to Rick Santorum, and the Evangelicals would appear even more immune to his entreaties in 2016.
However, let us suppose that a desperate GOP Establishment persuaded Romney to endorse and campaign in these two states which do indeed "affect voters in later states" (but not as much as Mr. Carney imagines given Newt Gingrich's landslide in third up South Carolina in 2012).
If, somehow, Romney's endorsed candidate was making significant headway in Iowa, and New Hampshire started to look promising, then Trump has a trump card. If there is one person in America whose standing with the Tea Party and Evangelicals is so clear and so strong it is Sarah Palin.
if she, like the in the Conroy/Stein scenario made a dramatic endorsement announcement with Trump in Iowa and campaigned with him, only the dullest of imaginations, or the most hidebound dogmatic Establishment figure (or dedicated Palin hater) could not imagine that Trump would not get a boost big enough to overcome whatever Romney may have brought to his charge. A subsequent momentum driven big win New Hampshire (where Palin might not play such a major role) could the be followed up by landslide in South Carolina, again with Palin's help, which would most likely ensure Trump's momentum to the nomination.
That the left is keeping up it's endless orchestrated attacks on Palin via the UniteBlue radical faction, and various major blogs/media shows that they are well aware of her power-no matter how much the pretend to say she is "irrelevant.' That this latent endorsement power could counter any last minute Establishment moves via Romney is a very real factor. That Palin might actually do such a thing-well a picture is worth a thousand words;