He Came On in the Same Old Way and He Was Sent Back in the Same Old Way

by Victor Davis Hanson

Either Gingrich’s debate-prep team is not as careful as Romney’s, or Newt is not listening to them. Did he not think that Wolf Blitzer would anticipate an attack like the one John King received? Did he not appreciate that Mitt’s investments are now old hat, and that Romney would therefore be able to turn them around on Gingrich as he did in the embarrassing Freddie/Fannie exchange? Did he not know that he is stereotyped not just as a big-idea guy but a big-loopy-idea guy? Why, then, talk about moon colonies on the eve of the debate?

Last night’s debate revealed that Romney is preparing far better than Gingrich for these debates, largely in the sense that he analyzes his weaknesses and Gingrich’s as well, and then deliberately prepares the suitable defense and offense, while Newt, in Napoleonic fashion, believes his innate talent and exuberance will naturally carry him through. The result is a sort of Waterloo, where method and prep defeat predictable talent.