ROMNEY, INC.: HERE COMES THE I.P.O.
Philip Rucker of The Washington Post reports that Mitt Romney's campaign is making deals:
... Senior aides and surrogates -- hoping to seize a moment when even some unfriendly Republicans are beginning to see Romney as inevitable -- have spent the past several weeks making calls and visits to conservative leaders and activists who have resisted Romney's candidacy.
Campaign manager Matt Rhoades has been wooing tea party organizers in general-election swing states and, in some cases, offering private meetings with Romney. Advisers with roots in the conservative movement, such as Bay Buchanan and Mark DeMoss, have been reaching out to evangelical leaders who are backing other candidates. Elected officials, led by Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), have been courting lawmakers and Beltway power-players who are not on board.
What could they possibly be discussing if not quid pro quos? That's certainly what I'm picking up from this:
Among those being courted is Richard Land, a longtime leader of the Southern Baptist Convention....
Land said that after a private dinner with Romney last year at Acadiana, a Washington restaurant, Romney's advisers have been in regular touch. Land said he recently told them that Romney could win over recalcitrant conservatives by picking Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) as his vice presidential running mate and previewing a few Cabinet selections: Santorum as attorney general, Gingrich as ambassador to the United Nations and John Bolton as secretary of state.
After Romney met last month with [Sheldon] Adelson, one adviser said, some of his more pro-Israel surrogates have made regular contact with the Las Vegas casino mogul and have won his assurances that he would back Romney and give to the pro-Romney super PAC in the fall.
Among the party leaders not on board with Romney is Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. He seems like a natural Romney ally -- the two are close and share similar political bases, and several Romney advisers, including Kaufman, are longtime friends of Branstad’s.
But Branstad, noting that he has publicly complimented Santorum, said he is unaligned for a strategic reason: to be a credible broker.
What does Branstad want? Bet Romney is seriously thinking about giving it to him. What does Adelson want? Well, we know his very right-wing views on Israel, and it looks as if Romney is reassuring him that those will be very much taken into consideration by Romney if he becomes president. We're told some of what Richard Land wants -- think Romney won't cut deals if he fears that the religious right won't unite behind him?
We know Romney has no core. We know Romney is desperate to have a united party behind him. And we know that most Republicans and the network of Republican interest groups are crazy.
So I think it's safe to say that he's going to promise to do what a lot of crazy people want if he becomes president.
(X-posted at Booman Tribune.)