According to Podhoretz, it was Romney's "willingness to confronta rival directly while looking him straight in the eye and saying some prettyharsh things, and the ability to withstand the counterattack and keep on withthe assault, are qualities of toughness and perseverance every successful majorpolitician must demonstrate.”
“Gingrich’s problem is that to widen his appeal, he had to tone down his nastiness (except when it came to the news media). Thus, he had no useful countermeasures against Romney’s attacks in the two Florida debates — and the Boy from Bain saw the weakness and would not let up.”
“In the 17 preceding debates, Romney hadshown fluency, a command of the issues, an ability to spin words like cottoncandy to obscure his problematic flip-flopping . . . and absolutely no spinewhatsoever.”
“By making it clear he would do what hehad to do to win — by demonstrating to Republicans he was not only made ofmoney but that there was some steel there too — Romney almost certainlyclinched his nomination.”
Balderdash; it was in all probability the fact that team Romney, his allies in the press and the Republicanestablishment, had belted Gingrich with everything but the kitchen sink; and it can pretty much be deducted if the polls did not show major movement, they would have hurled that at Gingrich too.
The Campaign Media Analysis Group hasconcluded that 92% of all ads run in Florida in the last week were Negative, and since Romney spent 12 million more that Gingrich in the state, it is safe to say that the majority of those ads were aimed at Gingrich. The polls absolutely turned around in one week, a solid percentage of Floridavoters went from preferring Gingrich to preferring Romney in the same week thatFlorida was blitzed with negative ads; and just about every one of the unsuccessful Republican nominees in the past 20 years hit Gingrich with something negative about his time in the public sphere.
Somehow, Podhoretz seem to assume the Republican electorate is just sitting around and desiring that Romney was a tad bit tougher, but the truth is probably not so easy, he is not the candidatethat anyone really wanted. So why does just about every right leaning pundit believe that Romney has the best chance of defeating President Obama this November.
Ironically, it is Romney’s pastpositions that make him seem more electable in the general election; but it is also those same positions that have pained him this whole nomination process.
Romney is a horrible candidate, and if not for the fact that the media gives credence to the stories of Gingrich being a Reagan hater, one can only suspect that Romney would not be in position to win Florida. Romney should have put this one away by now in view of the vast amount of support he is receiving from those who have the ability to get free media.
The Republican Establishment is convinced the country is not looking for a conservative leader, and the left wing infused MSM is convinced that if President Obama is to lose, that Romneywould be less destructive to their long-term agenda; which is probably a safe assumption.
The problem is Romney will not have the benefit of all the media preferences if he is indeed the nominee. Romney’s negatives have been mentioned throughout the primary process, but not in the same way that will be done by team Obama.
The things that have been only lighted treaded on through the nomination process will be heavily dissected: questions about Bain will no longer be considered an attack on capitalism, it will be an attack on the middle class by the rich; Mormonism, everything that frightens evangelicals about the Mormon Church will suddenly be ok to talk about in the interest of “this is a presidential contest, not little league.” Then there is the thing about the MormonChurch and its history on race issues; which we all know in this race will be an issue in November, and in fact, it is already starting to surface.
Now all we hear from the Republican Establishment is how bad Gingrich will be for the party if nominated; but Romney is hardly the man for the job. Romney is such a bad candidate; ¾ of the Republican establishment is out there pushing him, and he is out spending his competitors by wide margins, he has a campaign that is bigger, better, and more experienced, but he is still having to fight off a challenger in Florida.
Romney did not take Gingrich down in Florida; he had help from the establishment and media, in spite of the fact that he is their choice for the nomination. It is hard to picture any other candidate having so many things happen in favor of their candidacy, and still having to fight of a pertinacious Newt Gingrich who just does not stay down when he is told to throw the fight.
But I still cannot see how this points to Romney being the strongest candidate to face President Obama.