Wednesday, March 14, 2012



The media’s reaction to the results of last night’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi ranged from the barely rational to the hysterical. A good example of the latter was Fox News’ headline “Santorum Shocker.” As in most issues in politics, and in life, all sides would be well advised to take a deep breath and listen to a rational analysis from someone with no skin in the game, or at least with no viable skin in the game:

As we assess what many are proclaiming as a great, game changing victory by Rick Santorum, a little perspective is necessary, to wit:

--Rick Santorum managed to carry by a slim margin two small states that the GOP will most certainly carry in the general election and that, until about a week ago, Mitt Romney was given no chance to carry.

--Former Senator Santorum achieved a majority, or anything like a majority, in neither of those two states.

--Mr. Santorum did little, if anything, to close the yawning chasm in delegates between him and Mr. Romney.

--Mr. Santorum’s “shocker” has not, so far, shocked the obstreperous and delusional Newt Gingrich out of the race.

So Mr. Romney, who still looks like the nominee and who will certainly carry Alabama and Mississippi in the general was hurt, nary a whit by last night’s results. As I argued in my post of 3/12/12, ADVICE TO MITT ROMNEY: DON’T WIN TOMORROW, a plurality victory by Mr. Romney would have done more to nudge Mr. Gingrich out of the race and thus would have been genuinely damaging to Mr. Romney’s campaign. Thus, Mr. Romney has, as I predicted, helped himself by losing in Alabama and Mississippi.

Another note…as I said in my 2/1/12 post, QUOTE OF THE CAMPAIGN,
the GOP’s great fear should be that they are, in all likelihood, going to nominate, in Mr. Romney, a very flawed candidate. Why? Mr. Romney is way ahead in the delegate race largely because he has outspent Mr. Gingrich by a factor of four and Mr. Santorum by a factor of six. Mr. Romney will have no such advantage in a general election race against President Obama and thus will have to fall back on his innate appeal and/or Mr. Obama’s 41% (according to the New York Times/CBS poll; the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll has the President’s approval rating at 50%) approval rating. The latter is hopeful for the GOP but is fluid and fickle. The former is laughable, as demonstrated by the Mr. Romney’s underwhelming performance in the primaries and that will get even more risible as Mr. Romney persists in such nakedly unctuous gestures as adorning himself in hilariously inapt blue jeans, proclaiming his love for “cheesy grits,” and using “y’all” for the second person plural. Don’t be surprised, for example, if, in the next week, Mr. Romney professes an undying devotion for Italian beef , Chicago style dogs, and da Bears while telling people he looks forward to seeing them at a campaign rally right next to dat Picasso ting and urging them to “Vote early and often,” as dey do back in da precincts over by da river.

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