Politico’s Mike Allen reports:
Some Obama aides are exultant about running against a candidate with so much baggage and bad history. They generally view Romney as a stronger, more dangerous opponent, even if the former House speaker is likely to shine in debates. The feeling — or hope — among the campaign’s upper echelon is that the Romney-Gingrich fight just might last until June, as long as Obama-Clinton in 2008, with deeply unpredictable results.
But there’s also a wary recognition that Gingrich may be catching a wave that is both powerful and unpredictable.
They worry that Gingrich would be an erratic opponent, and therefore harder to handle than the relatively predictable Romney. Running against him may prove more difficult than it looks at first blush.
“It would be a nastier, more intense campaign,” said the Democrat close to the White House. “Newt has a history of getting people to rise to his bait. The president would have to stay mellow, steady Eddie.”
The Obama campaign has been pretty consistent about viewing Romney as the likely opponent — to the extent that the Romney campaign has started harping on how “obsessed” Obama is with Romney. It’ll be an interesting shift if they start targeting Gingrich.