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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Everyone’s Analysis, Summarized: Everybody Except My Guy Should Quit!



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It is a particularly verbose edition of the Morning Jolt this Thursday. Among those making an appearance: Pres. Barack Obama, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, Ashe Schow of Heritage Action, Doug Brady of Conservatives 4 Palin, William Keane, James Taranto, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, the Anchoress, Glenn Reynolds, gangster rappers, the Oakland Raiders, Donald Trump, Snooki, the Kardashians, Mitt Romney, and the Ace of Spades.

Two quick bites:

Iowans: Hey, Remember What We Told You Caucus Night? Nevermind!

Breaking this morning: Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses. Iowa’s fourth-place finisher, Newt Gingrich, responded by congratulating him and insisting that Santorum withdraw from the race so that he can have a clear shot at Romney.

Should Perry Ride Off Into the Sunset a Bit Early?

I understand the logic of anti-Mitt folks calling on Rick Perry to drop out . . . I just can’t believe that the governor of Texas is being told to drop out days before the first primary in the South, the contest that would seem to be the most-friendly territory among the early states. (I also can’t believe Perry’s total in the past five polls in South Carolina: 6 percent, 6 percent, 5 percent, 5 percent, 6 percent. If I were a pollster, I’d be calling back the respondents and asking, “Are you sure? Really? You’re a self-described very conservative evangelical who describes reducing the government as your top priority and you’re not backing Perry? Are you absolutely certain?”

In the Corner, Brian Bolduc reports, “Today on her radio show, Laura Ingraham called for Rick Perry to drop out of the presidential race. ‘Rick Perry should drop out of this race. . . . And I like Rick Perry, I thought he was pretty cool in the last debate, except for that little problem with calling Turkey an Islamic terrorist regime. I mean, God bless him but he’s not put in the time to kind of know anything about foreign policy and you can’t be president if you don’t know anything about foreign policy.’”

RINO! . . . Wait, did I do that right?*

William Jacobson concurs: “With the precipitous Santorum fall and Perry finding no movement, it’s time for them to make a hard choice — stay in and hand Romney a narrow win and the nomination, or do the right thing and throw their support behind Newt.”

Erick Erickson wants to see it happen: “Perry’s endorsement today or tomorrow morning could offset [Huntsman], shifting undecideds and Perry’s own voters to someone else and get them a leg up on Mitt Romney. With Newt Gingrich surging according to the latest Rasmussen poll and Sarah Palin saying she’d support him, Perry’s withdrawal and endorsement before Saturday could ensure a Gingrich win. Rick Perry’s campaign has come to an end. But he could leave on an unexpected high note — helping conservatives unite around one not-Romney in a way no one else has been able to. Rick Perry could be the catalyst and kingmaker so many have been looking for, even as other conservatives have stood by, unwilling to endorse in the face of long odds . . . Either Rick Perry will leave the race Sunday with no political capital and no deposit of goodwill an endorsement would bring, or he will choose to strike one final blow for limited government conservatism.”

. . . But Robert Stacy McCain can’t believe that the guy who’s been an also-ran so far wants everybody else to clear his path to a mano-a-mano fight with the frontrunner: “What the hell kind of talk is that, coming from a guy who placed fourth in Iowa (13%) and fifth in New Hampshire (9%), especially in regard to Santorum, who fought Romney to a standstill in Iowa? Yesterday, Santorum was endorsed by Penny Nance of Conservative Women for America. Today, Santorum was endorsed by Richard Viguerie, a legendary figure in the conservative movement, and also endorsed by the chairman of the Berkeley County (S.C.) Republican Party. Newt’s suggestion that Santorum should be ‘consolidating into a Gingrich candidacy’ is preposterous and insulting.”

My question is, if Newt Gingrich really is the “most electable” candidate in the field as he keeps insisting, shouldn’t he . . . you know . . . win more votes? I mean, does he have some magic amulet of electability that he’s keeping in a lead-lined box somewhere, held in reserve until he really, really needs it?

*This is parody. Laura Ingraham is not a RINO, and there are way too many knee-jerk cries of ‘RINO’ in this primary campaign season.


Tags: Newt Gingrich , Rick Perry , Rick Santorum


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