I’d really like to get past all the opening acts and proceed directly to the Obama versus Mitt brawl for it all, but we can’t fast forward it past the preliminaries to the main event quite yet, so instead of being first I’ll get the last word in on the Iowa caucus. Mitt Romney “won” by a whopping eight votes while Rick Santorum could claim the title as the newest Not Mitt Romney with his surge into second place.
Romney came into Iowa late while Santorum practically moved in having traveled to every country in the state. Romney’s victory almost qualifies as a tie and a tie with Santorum counts as a loss for Romney.
On to New Hampshire. Winning there won’t prove anything as that’s Romney’s firewall state and he’s expected to clobber all comers. If Santorum is smart (and if he was he wouldn’t be Rick Santorum), he should forget New Hampshire, let Mitt have his cheap win there and go straight to South Carolina where his culture warrior extremism may play well.
The life of an Anti-Romney is a short one and it’s obviously Slick Rick II’s time to shine. Does he have staying power? Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich and Paul didn’t. Maybe he’ll be the one that does. Or at least until Romney’s super PACS get medieval on his ass.
Mitt will never going to be the guy the true believers love. They don’t believe he really believes what he’s saying and that as soon as he secures the nomination, he’s going to run so far and fast to the middle he will trample underfoot any Tea Partier that gets in his way.
Knowing this is his dilemma, Mitt won’t even waste time trying to win the love of the committed conservatives. He’ll just open up his wallet and crush Rick Santorum like a rotten orange.
Pop quiz, hotshot. What fourth-place finisher in Iowa said this about a month ago?
I’m going to be the nominee. It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.
Yep. That was Newt Gingrich swaggering and going all gangsta. Right up until Mittens and money opened up a big ol’ can of whup-ass negative ads and killed Newt’s momentum deader than Osama bin Laden.
Newt didn’t have the cash, the organization or the ability to punch back until it was all over. Santorum has the same trouble and will suffer the same fate.
Mitt isn’t going to pick anyone he doesn’t want and what does he get by picking Bachmann or Perry? Nothing. The Republicans already know they’re going to win Texas and probably Minnesota, so why pick a vice-president who (a) isn’t ready for the job and (b) brings nothing of use to the ticket?
Mitt knows he needs a battleground state. Somewhere like Florida (Marco Rubio, Rick Scott) or Virginia (Bob McDonnell) that takes it out of play for Obama and forces him to look elsewhere on the map for those much-needed electoral votes.
Second, I used to think as well, “Well, Mitt needs to appeal to the Tea Party.” And maybe he does, but not to the extent that appealing to them costs him the independent and disaffected Democratic vote. Mitt is the last Republican standing who can tack to the center in the general election. Santorum can’t and won’t. Paul could, but won’t. There’s nobody else left.
There’s not going to be a brokered convention. There isn’t going to be an 11th hour “real” conservative riding to the rescue. There’s just going to be Mitt and Barack and that’s all the choice you’re going to have besides flushing away your vote on a third-party loser.
Romney’s closing sales pitch is simple. Get all those Tea Partiers and evangelicals and other right-wingers in a room and make it so simple for them even they can’t get it confused.
You don’t like me and I don’t like you. That’s the way it is. but here’s something you may not realize. You don’t HAVE to like me. All you have to do is like the idea of a second term for Obama less.
Bottom line: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is old and she’s been sick. She might want to stay on the Supreme Court forever, but I’m gonna bet she doesn’t make it.
Eventually, she’s going to retire. Scalia might retire. Thomas too. Now who do you want choosing their replacement? Me or Obama?
He will appoint judges that will uphold Roe v. Wade. I won’t.
- Newt Gingrich Praises Rick Santorum; Mitt Romney Not So Much (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Santorum enjoys New Hampshire poll bump but trails far behind Romney (guardian.co.uk)
- Santorum Closing on Mitt in SC (newser.com)