Phillip Klein | Conservative Must Keep Pressure on Mr. Etch-a-Sketch

This November, millions of conservatives will find themselves in the familiar position of holding their noses to vote for a problematic Republican presidential candidate, because the alternative is far worse.

Although conservatives don’t exactly have fond memories of the candidacies of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole in 1996 and Senator John McCain in 2008, the almost certain nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has its own sting.

In 2010, tea-party energy swept a new generation of conviction conservatives into statehouses, governors’ mansions, and the U.S. Congress. Many on the right held out hope that the big payoff would be putting a principled conservative in the White House.

Instead, at a pivotal juncture in American history, the best hope for replacing President Obama now rests with a man who claims to be “severely conservative” with the same degree of conviction he once conveyed when claiming to be “progressive.”



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