"At the same time, Romney and Huckabee ought to begin to note Senator McCain's lead and urge their followers to recognize that if they cannot come back they and their followers will have to come in and join the party's eventual nominee."
In another post today, Hugh noted how important it was for Ronald Reagan to have stayed in the race for the Republican nomination in 1976 after he fell behind President Gerald Ford. Of course, it was President Ford who received the nomination that year, not Governor Reagan.
All of which I suspect is Hugh's gentle way of saying, "Romney supporters, let's get real, we fought the good fight but it's over and our man lost. Now let's try to see that Hillary (or less likely, Senator Obama) does not win, or that if she does, that we still have a party to challenge her in 2012."
Winning the White House will be a tall order for John McCain if as it appears he is the GOP nominee. As Karl Rove pointed out in his analysis on Fox News last night, the very States that McCain has won to build up his delegate lead are largely ones that he has little hope of winning in November against either Democratic candidate, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California. (Senator Obama has the mirror image problem on the Democratic side; his wins were mostly in Red States.)
The huge win by McCain in a closed Republican primary in California ought to be a wake-up call for the conservatives who have had a stranglehold on the GOP for decades now. There are masses of Republican voters who are more centrist than the Party base. When one fields a candidate who will appeal to those voters, those voters will respond and the candidate can win. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proved that. When the Party nominates a candidate who appeals only to the true-blue social conservatives, the party cannot win a statewide or national office, as has been shown in election after election after election.
Apparently, Governor Romney agreed with me regarding the need to unify the Republican Party behind John McCain. Good man, that. Perhaps he reads The Hedgehog Blog.