Friday, January 20, 2012

Romney's Waterloo?

Update:  Gingrich did win big in South Carolina tonight.  This changes things, I would say.  Romney is no longer the inevitable winner.  Newt could also take Florida next week.  Barring some unforeseen development, this is going to be a longgggggggggg spring for these four candidates.

Last night could possibly have been Mitt Romney's Waterloo.  Amazing.  A week ago, after apparently winning both Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney looked unbeatable, like Napoleon demolishing every army in his path.  But suddenly, in the course of several days, how things have changed....again.  In last night's CNN South Carolina debate, he was the least impressive and most superficial of the four Republican candidates.  His response to the question of his tax returns was halting, uncertain, embarrassed.  What's he trying to hide?  Probably how little taxes he pays on his incredible wealth.  Or maybe that he doesn't actually tithe to the Mormon Church?

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
Rick Santorum, the true underdog of this primary season,  actually came across this debate as having more gravitas than Gov. Romney.  Add to this the fact that he actually won the Iowa caucuses, that he was willing to seriously--albeit graciously--criticize the other candidates, and Santorum comes across as sincere, honest, and likeable.  He comes across as a little too zealous in his social conservativism to actually win, but in this environment, who knows what's going to happen?

Newt Gingrich, even with that shit-ass grin and huge girth, looked more confident and Presidential than Romney.  And with his angry response to the moderator's question about his ex-wife's charge about open marriage, he hit a home run.  Some say he won the debate in the first five minutes.  I think they're right.

It's looks increasingly likely that Newt Gingrich will win the South Carolina primary.  That makes Mitt Romney looks a lot less like the inevitable winner of this whole thing.  He's continues to have all the logistical and financial advantages, no doubt.  But Gingrich shouldn't be underestimated.  His rhetorical abilities and his uncanny talent at scratching exactly where the Republicans' itch can take him a long way.

I haven't mentioned Ron Paul yet, but only because little has changed with him.  He'll remain in the race to the convention, I think, and have his impact, pushing his libertarian convictions.

The Battle of the Republican Titans goes on!

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