"Not Mitt Romney" campaign will help Mitt Romney continue to not face serious opposition

The fact that prominent conservative media professionals can't choose a non-Romney candidate speaks volumes

Published November 7, 2011 8:31PM (EST)

If the people behind "Not Mitt Romney" actually cared about electing someone other than Mitt Romney, shouldn't they actually be devoting their time and resources to campaigning for a non-Mitt Romney candidate? Because otherwise, all their campaign does is reinforce the message that while Mitt Romney is flawed, he has no credible competition.

The "Not Mitt Romney" coalition -- really just a glorified petition with some Web-only "ads" -- was started by Ali Akbar, a conservative P.R. pro with experience in "blogger relations" for conservative candidates, John Hawkins, a right-wing blogger, and Matt Mackowiak, a prominent conservative P.R. flack.

So these are a bunch of right-wing media professionals who know how to generate a lot of press, but all the press attention in the world doesn't change the fact that a "don't vote for Mitt Romney" campaign is only effective if there's someone you can vote for.

This is the same problem George Will's "I hate Mitt Romney" column had: If George Will really doesn't want Mitt Romney to be the nominee, he needs to choose someone else to support.

So come out for Rick Perry, the only candidate who can potentially match Mitt Romney's fundraising, or Herman Cain, the only candidate currently even with Romney in the polls. Or Ron Paul! Or Jon Huntsman! But pick one, because you can't vote "not Mitt Romney" in a primary, or write a check to "not Mitt Romney's" SuperPAC.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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