On to Florida and the eye openers that taught both Newt and Mitt going forward
I speculated after the South Carolina debate where Newt took out Juan Williams that the South Carolina race would be turned on its head. The brushfire that I envisioned that could happen among conservatives turned into an inferno. What happened?
EYE OPENER #1 – The unorthodox attack from Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry of hitting Romney’s record at Bain Capital and his tax records
Using arguably a lefty talking point to attack Romney’s work at Bain Capital backfired somewhat but Romney’s response was good but….uninspired. I liked the fact that Romney stood for himself saying he had worked hard for his fortune. Nothing wrong with that at all. However, there was no passion or visual fight from Romney. It reminds people too much of John McCain. Maybe this is what happens when a person who has run for public office in the past and has moved on both sides of the issue. It neuters any cajones, guts, grit, fight, whatever you want to call it. I am left wondering
“Mitt, where’s the balls?”
Sorry, maybe that is a crude thing to say but it is the only thing I can think of. Then there is his tax records. What’s the problem with getting them out there? If you’ve made money, paid your taxes both through a 35% corporate rate and 15% capital gains tax, what are you afraid or ashamed of? Why not get everything out there and say “Here is what I made and I am not ashamed of it. I have had to pay taxes twice in some instances on what I have made. And I would hope that anyone who has the work ethic, determination, and a great attitude can reap greater blessing than I have been given.” These attacks showed that if Barack Obama had hit Mitt with these, he would have curled into a fetal position or been caught in analysis paralysis of trying to figure out what the best response is as his polling numbers tanked.
Eye Opener #2 – No matter how much baggage a candidate may have, the majority of GOP voters wants someone who is going to take the battle to Obama by means of promoting conservatism.
Erick pointed this out in his post earlier tonight. People are sick of having watered down, status quo candidates shoved down our throats by the establishment in Washington. Sure, Mitt Romney looks the best in head-to-head matchups with Obama and has done so for quite some time. The narrative that the Obama campaign is going to run with is demonizing success stories like Mitt Romney and keeping the focusing light of scrutiny upon Obama’s absolute failure of a record while he has been in office. Maybe the Obama campaign can do this best with Romney as the nominee. Afterall, no Obamacare millstone would come into play with Romney on the ticket among most notable things. Newt’s personal past worries me greatly. It is littered at times with adultery and brazen hypocrisy, most notably during the Clinton impeachment. Heck, I didn’t think that Newt would win because of women and I still feel that his personal past will be a tough thing to overcome regarding the women’s vote. I really hope that Newt has changed here and in regards to a host of his other faults. He has played both sides of the fence like Romney has, most notably his global warming couch moment with Nancy Pelosi, his right wing social engineering comment in regards to Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity, Al Sharpton, etc. And yet despite all these misgivings, the majority of GOP voters in South Carolina sent an undeniable message. They want a fighter who will fight for conservatism and Obama, can articulate it, be unashamed of it, no matter the baggage.
Eye Opener #3 — If Democrats are so anxious to face Gingrich, then why is the MSM trying to take him out before he gets the nomination?
Gingrich’s unfavorables are quite noticeable in polling. Yet I have to wonder what regions in the United States are these polls being taken and what is the polling weights? Why did ABC try to take out Newt with Marianne Gingrich two days prior to the South Carolina primary? When Newt became the frontrunner the first time, why did the MSM dig up all this dirt on Gingrich regarding Freddie Mac? And when Mitt Romney became the frontrunner, why was there only the sound of crickets from the MSM? And Democratic leaders in congress and in the blogosphere are ecstatic at the possibility of facing Newt? I have to speculate that Democrats inwardly are worried about the possibility of Newt getting the nomination because of his fighting demeanor, his debate and oratory prowess, and the unpredictability of what may happen if Newt embarrasses Obama in the debate format. It also provides a very real contrast and distinctive direction for America to choose. Newt would most undoubtedly point out “Here is the direction President Obama has taken the country during his term, here is the direction I want to take the country…” You all can fill in the rest. However, this is an issue that the Democrats will lose and they know it. Bottom line, the Obama campaign is going to try everything to distract the public from focusing on Obama’s record during his time in office.
Going forward to Florida and beyond, the deck is really stacked against Gingrich. However, Romney is going to have to show a whole lot more fight and decisiveness if he wants to win this thing. He of all people should have known that people want a fighter and when Tim Pawlenty had the chance earlier in the year regarding Romneycare, he wimped out. He’ll have to throw the John McCain impotence overboard and show that he is willing to get in there and rumble. No wimps this year, whomever the nominee may be. Early voting in Florida most likely has given Romney a big running start. Combine this is with a great Florida organization and the money to blanket the state of Florida with ads puts Gingrich at a significant disadvantage. However, Gingrich does have some big momentum after tonight’s win in South Carolina and more debates this coming week in Florida. Will more strong debates and the result tonight in South Carolina be enough to make up the head start that Romney has? It’s going to be tough. Gingrich needs a lot of money. Rick Perry likely is helping him with his Florida organization that he had built but I am not sure if this is enough to compete with Romney. It’s going to be very interesting leading up to January 31st.