A friend of mine pointed out this morning that Mitt Romney has outspent Newt Gingrich $7 million to $.0008 million in Florida just to watch his 15 pt lead implode overnight.
The Republican base does not trust Mitt Romney. Because they do not trust him, they do not like him as a candidate. His campaign, all too clever to try to sit on an ephemeral lead that any outside observer could see was more vaporware than reality, has decided to go fully negative now against Gingrich.
In other words, Mitt Romney who no one much cares for outside of well paid consultants, lobbyists, and First Class Acela Express Republicans in Washington and New York is going to drive up his own negatives to make Newt Gingrich more toxic to the base than himself. That's a winning strategy for the general for sure! "Hey," Team Romney must be saying, "We'll just remind them about the Supreme Court to get them to turn out in the general." That worked so well for Team McCain.
Mitt Romney is supposedly a brilliant private businessman. It is the theme of his campaign. If a business were to spend as much as he has spent to lose Iowa in 2012 garnering less votes in 2012 than he got in 2008 and then lose all but two counties in South Carolina, you'd think a private businessman would shake up his campaign.
Right now in running his campaign, Mitt Romney conveys all the business acumen of a co-CEO of Research in Motion, both of whom are themselves losing their jobs.
There is, however, some important insight into this we should all now see.
For a year, many of us have been telling reporters and Republicans in Washington that the base does not like Mitt Romney. We have pointed out how since November of 2010 until just before the kick off this year in Iowa his polling average never got above 25.5%.
But it fell on deaf ears.
I really think it fell on deaf ears because a lot of Romney's team comes from the corridors of Washington who have built up relationships with the leading voices in the press over the past decade. The Gang of 500 as they call it and the Romney team have coexisted in a symbiotic relationship of sourcing and news for a long time both related to and separate from Mitt Romney's campaign.
Consequently, any other campaign that had spent what Romney spent and gotten the poor results Romney got would see huge process and analysis pieces on the front page of every major newspaper in America today speculating on a Romney campaign shake up.
That won't happen though with Romney's campaign because of press-operative relationships. And it is that press-operative relationship between the Gang of 500 and Romney's campaign team that has left the Romney campaign stunned by results everyone outside Washington, D.C. saw coming.