Have you noticed something? Every time one of the conservative candidates in the Republican primary starts to make substantial gains against Mitt Romney, suddenly, there is a raft of bad press about them. First we learned about Representative Bachmann's health problems; followed by Rick Perry's goof; then there were the sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain; and now the press is dredging-up everything it can find about Newt.
Excedrin headaches never got as much publicity as Bachmann's.
Perry's mishap during the debate is probably the worst performance since Gerald Ford said that the Eastern Bloc countries were not under the thumb of the Soviet Union, but I don't know of anyone who has not had an experience like Perry's. If Barak Obama had done that, or more likely VP Biden, nothing would have been said. Perry provided the press with the "Another Texas Governor/George Bush Clone" moment they needed to sink his campaign.
Cain's charges were particularly interesting as they were progressive. First there were un-named victims of sexual harassment of which there were records at the Restaurant Association. Then there was a lawyer. Then we had an actual "victim" with no record, or documentation of sexual harassment. Finally, the charges seemed to take hold, and Mr. Cain's poll numbers went down. Of course, there was the unspoken racial issue: African-American man and a White woman that came forward. While racism is, thankfully, far less of an issue than it once was, do not, for one moment think, it did not play a role. Now that Herman's poll numbers have gone down, where have these women gone? If Mr. Cain's numbers do begin to rise again, they will likely reappear, perhaps with more undocumented victims of sexual harassment coming forward.
It is Newt's turn to be savaged by the media. Newt has a long and well documented history of public service and it will be very easy to dig-up dirt on him. He surely has his share of it. It will also be easy to twist things, like his relationship with various federal agencies over the years. Remember, Newt is hated by the Democrats as the man who was responsible for ending 40 years of Democratic rule in the House of Representatives. He will become President of the United States over their dead bodies! If he does get the nomination, it may well become the dirtiest, nastiest election in American history and, considering some of the past elections (Cleveland v. Blaine; Jefferson v. Adams; Jackson v. Adams) that would be saying something!
Mitt, on the other hand, seems to sail through all this. We hear nothing about him, other than he is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) for which people are quickly and rightly rebuked for intolerance of religion, bringing-up JFK as a Catholic in 1960. We are to presume that Mitt has been "vetted" as he ran the last time and all that was looked into then. But Romney was never the top candidate in the last election. He lost to McCain in New Hampshire and from there his fortunes declined. His fate was sealed in Florida when McCain won there. So as to whether or not he was ever truly "vetted" by the press remains an open question. He consistently remains among the top candidates in the Republican field, so why is it that so little press has focused on him?
There are several possible answers to this question. One is that he has been vetted by the press and there is no reason to spill a great deal of ink on it. But, then, so has Newt. Newt's career is well known, probably better known than Romney's. So why is so much attention now being paid to Newt, and so little has been paid to Romney?
A second answer is that Mitt is the most "moderate" of the Republican field and that if Obama is defeated in the election, Romney would be the best alternative of the various Republicans in the race.
A third would be that the Democrats want to run against Romney and are saving their "dirt" for the general election. They see him as the one who would be most easy to defeat. Certainly Romney has baggage. Some of which has been well documented on Red State. The Democratic Party's opposition research group will have a significant amount of information and available funds to run against any candidate that runs against Barak Obama in the next election and Mitt Romney will have a substantial portion of that file dedicated to him.
Of course, there could be more, but these would seem to be the most obvious. There might be those who would say that answers two and three might reveal a certain paranoia about the press. But the last Presidential election is more than enough reason to have a certain healthy skepticism about the "fair and balanced" approach of the press and attempts on their part to manipulate the electorate. Some of the actions taken by reporters, editors, and other members of the press, have made their participation in the election process appear to be less than a totally impartial endeavor. Their drop in credibility with the electorate is the result of these actions.
Whatever the answer, Mitt Romney is getting a pass from the media in the Republican Primaries. If he does win the Republican nomination, it would seem unlikely that he would get the same kind of pass from the media in a Presidential election or from a Democratic Party that nominates Barak Obama of Chicago, Illinois.