What goes up must necessarily come down, but right now Mr. Newt seems to be hot-air ballooning his way over and above Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP pack, if these polls are to be believed. I can’t say that I’m surprised. As I wrote here a few days ago:
Say-Anything Mitt has no home port and is unlikely find one beyond the generic anti-Obama vote. Which, alas, will not be big enough or motivated enough to evict Cap’n Barry from the White House bridge as he madly steers the ship of state into the iceberg.
I’m not at all sure that Gingrich can beat Obama either, but it does appear that he’s opening up an intensity gap between himself and Romney, especially now that the Herman Cain boomlet is over and, with Iowa and New Hampshire looming, the anybody-but-Romney vote has to land somewhere pretty soon.
Why can’t Mitt break out? For one thing, his continuing defense of Romneycare has got to be hurting him with voters who realize what a fiscal and moral disaster Obamacare is going to be. And his panned Fox interview with Bret Baier didn’t help much, as he continues to project nervous defensiveness even when he doesn’t have to. Up against the Punahou Kid’s preternatural detachment in a presidential debate, Mitt would come off as an ankle biter.
The biggest problem, though, is that Team Romney cannot see what is plainly visible: that Mitt already is being prepped by the Axelrod Machine for the role of designated fall guy, the Bain Capital plutocrat/heartless corporate manipulator who just so happens to be the spitting embodiment of the largely manufactured Occupy movement’s feigned “outrage.” And this is even before the Dems’ whispering campaign about “weird” Mormons gets fully underway.
Should he continue his upward trajectory, Gingrich will soon be coming in for a nasty barrage emanating from Chicago as well. Axelrod’s stock-in-trade is softening up and then neutralizing political opponents well before election day, and there’s no reason to think he’s going to change tactics now. And Gingrich is a target-rich environment.
This is not to say that Obama can’t be beaten; frankly, it’s a testimony to the power and numbers of the dependent class and their advocates/enablers that his approval numbers are still over 40 percent. Still, it took a Ronald Reagan to defeat Jimmy Carter (who got 41 percent of the vote in 1980) and even a highly unpopular Harry Truman beat the Republican retread, Thomas Dewey, with 49.6 percent of the vote in 1948.
Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie et al. must be kicking themselves for sitting this one out.