Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tortoise and the Hare: Is Romney's new Status as a Giant With Clay Feet due to Early Overconfidence?

So soon after South Carolina, Romney, whose nomination was once thought inevitable, is now beginning to crumble due to his lackluster performance in which he flubbed the chance to come clean about his tax returns in addition to giving an overall decidedly ho-hum performance, especially when compared to Newt Gingrich and his confident lambasting of John King and the media in general, as well as his far more confident display of his record while serving as Speaker of the House. Santorum made a decent showing, even if it was too little too late to go on the offense for him, at least in my view.

Regardless, it would seem that everyone and their brother has decided that Romney is now in a less than tenable position regarding his campaign, as if that wasn't obvious by the stomping Newt gave him last week. Still, it would seem that the only ones who don't yet know that Newt has pulled ahead is the Romney campaign themselves. Or perhaps they do know it, since Romney has now been backed into a corner and forced to actually commit to the Florida debates, something he had initially declined to do while he was so far ahead. To be perfectly honest, in this climate now, Romney has to enter damage control mode immediately, and entering into the debates is the most immediate way, aside from an ad blitz that will likely hit Florida in the coming days, as well as is concession speech, in which he needled Newt without actually mentioning him by name.

The question of whether or not this will help is certainly in doubt. Mitt had a big lead in Florida prior to SC, but now things seem to have turned around, if this article is any indication. Though even with the prep work Romney has done to shore up his defenses and prepare to go on the attack in the Sunshine State, this particular political junkie believes that it might not be enough. Then again, Newt could have another moment where he squanders his momentum. Call me optimistic, but I don't think that'll happen. Newt is a man who learns from his mistakes, as far as I can tell, and I think he's learned well from this one.

Still, Mitt has an uphill battle ahead of him now whereas before it seemed to be a lock. Even now on Twitter, the first pre-debate polls have been released and it's not looking good for the governor. Gingrich appears to be enjoying a nine point lead. It appears that Mittens may have to take off the kid gloves if he has a hope of winning back the senior citizen/retiree demographic.