Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller believes that think tanks (like Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute) play to a constituency:
If think tanks are like the rest of us, in that they must fill a niche, this seems to make sense. Heritage seems interested in moving from an academic brand to a more activist “grassroots” image. Meanwhile, one imagines there are tons of rich conservative/libertarian donors, living in places like New York City and Palm Beach, who religiously read theWall Street Journal, and who might now be more comfortable donating to a think tank espousing Brooks’ immigration views than Heritage president Jim DeMint’s more populist views.
This is not to say these two think tanks have diverged for strategic purposes. Heritage has been advocating this anti-immigration reform position since at least 2007, and Arthur Brooks has long argued that immigration is the most entrepreneurial act in which a person could engage.
Thus, explaining why the Heritage Foundation opposes immigration reform and AEI is more open to it.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/16/aeis-arthur-brooks-gop-can-win-hispanic-voters/#ixzz2TT6ncnZQ
By John Stang
Matt Lewis notes that having a prolonged primary fight matters which side of the party you’re on:
Hiding these concerns would not have made them magically go away. Conservatives who are now skeptical of Romney would still have been skeptical of Romney — they would have just had no release valve to express their dissent. Sure, it would have all looked better to the outside world, from a public relations standpoint. But the anger would still be there — simmering below the surface. And it would have also deprived Romney of the yet-seized opportunity to fine-tune his message — and win over his skeptics. As is often the case in politics, where you stand on this debate probably depends on where you sit. The conservatives who opposed McCain in 2008 (and favored Mitt Romney, instead) would probably have preferred to see the race continue. Some might even still argue Romney would have been a better opponent for Obama in the fall. (Now, the pro-Romney forces long for the good old days and the good old rules.)
Essentially, there would have been kveching no matter when Romney won the primary, so even if he cleaned house now (as I think it’s pretty much over for Santorum and Gingrich), people still would have complained.