The last poll gives Romney a 19 point edge in New Hampshire which I think is far too large for the Granite State contrarians and expect something much closer to 10 points, which will still be enough to send Romney south with the momentum of a double-digit win. I think yesterday’s attempt to manipulate the “firing” line helped him with whomever heard the full context, and that the attacks on Bain hurt the former Speaker and Governor Perry, while Rick Santorum’s refusal to join in that line of criticism on Hannity last night makes it much easier for the former Pennsylvania senator to emerge as the “not Romney” in South Carolina.
It is astonishing that the Club for Growth has to remind GOP presidential candidates that they are supposed to be in favor of free markets and to know how capitalism works. But here we are, and Romney and Santorum will be the stronger for two of their adversaries having attacked our economic system and the other our commitment to a strong national defense and world leadership. The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson writes a salute to Romney’s discipline that ends this way:
His competitors have attempted to portray Romney’s ideological inconsistency over time as a character failure. It hasn’t worked, mainly because Romney is a man of exemplary character – deeply loyal to his faith, his family and his country. But he clearly places political ideology in a different category of fidelity. Like Dwight Eisenhower, Romney is a man of vague ideology and deep values. In political matters, he is empirical and pragmatic. He studies problems, assesses risks, calculates likely outcomes. Those expecting Romney to be a philosophic leader will be disappointed. He is a management consultant, and a good one.
Has the moment of the management consultant arrived in American politics? In our desperate drought of public competence, Romney has a strong case to make.
“Vague ideology and deep values,” plus a comparison to Ike –not a bad posture for a general election, though Rick Santorum’s “specific though idiosyncratic ideology and deep values” has a chance to trump Romney. The others at this point don’t seem to me to have a path forward, but we will see.
Six hours of broadcasting today, beginning at 6 PM EST. If you are away from the radio, you can listen to all the usual suspects –Barnes and Barone, Benson and Steyn, Tapscott, Geraghty, K-Lo, Costa, MK Ham and many more via any of my many affiliates such as 1260 WRC in DC, 990 WNTP in Philly, 1420 WHK in Cleveland, 710 KNUS in Denver 1280 the Patriot in the Twin Cities, KKNT 960 The Patriot in Phoenix, or 870 KRLA in LA.
I am not sure if the internet feed carries the local ads, but if they do, one of my affiliates in South Carolina or Florida, say WJMX 970 in Florence or 660/92.9 in Greenville might be very interesting for who is up and pitching the conservative talk audience a week before the next vote. The same might be true for Tampa Bay’s 860 WGUL or Orlando’s 660 WORL. If the campaigns or the SuperPacs are truly targeting their messages to conservatives, the talkers will be wall-to-wall throughout both states.