Laura Ingraham says Mitt Romney should send two dozen long-stemmed roses to Newt Gingrich for making him a better candidate. “Many saw Romney as a likable Ward Cleaver-sort,” she explains. “They now see a cunning, relentless, and aggressive side to him that they’ve been waiting for.”
She’s reacting to Romney’s performance in last night’s debate, where the ex-governor directly confronted Gingrich on numerous issues — and yet didn’t crash and burn. Ingraham credits Romney’s more-muscular performance to his crisis-management skills. “The entire Romney operation is run like Salt Lake 2002,” she writes:
His team was prepared for the rise of Bachman, Cain, Perry and finally Newt. The response to Newt’s second coming in South Carolina was flawlessly orchestrated. Mitt hit hard at Monday’s debate, and did a mop-up operation on Thursday night. He marshaled the help of boosters and aggressive defenders in media and politics. When Tom DeLay emerged from forced retirement and Bob Dole from convalescence to lay waste to Gingrich, you know it was a coordinated hit Godfather fans should recognize. Gingrich was caught in a revolving door, bullets flying, with nowhere to go.
Read her post here. And here’s a clip of the new and improved Mitt.