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The Long Knives Come Out For Newt, and Dan Quayle Comes Out For Romney

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I have a call into Newt’s team to see if he will come on to discuss at length not just to Nancy Pelosi (whom he has already routed and effectively muzzled for the campaign’s duration) but also to Arianna Huffington, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Mother Jones, the latest to storm Newt Beach. The former Speaker’s response to every attack has been to use the attack to turn charges around and to go on offense. I hope he agrees to come on and discuss them all.

Mitt Romney, in sharp contrast to the new theory Newtonian Politics –attack in all directions at once– is sticking with the Standard Theory of Politics, that money, endorsements and organization combine to influence voters on the crucial question of electability. The not-yet-Romney vote, this theory holds, is having its last fling, this time with Newt, before settling in for the long, and very difficult, haul that is unseating a sitting president. The patient accumulation of support signified by contributions and high profile endorsements mark the Standard Theory, and my interview yesterday with Romney Campaign political director Rich Beeson laid out the “Moneyball” qualities of the approach. Thus another significant step forward comes when former Vice President Dan Quayle will endorse the former Massachusetts governor tonight in Arizona.

“We don’t care about Dan Quayle,” say a lot of Twitter skeptics about the value of such an endorsement. Tens of thousands of fans of Dan Quayle live in Florida now, hundreds of thousands across the country, who remember that the Veep was the pinata for the left for a decade, and also a strong champion of family values, one of the first of a string of high-profile Republicans unfairly maligned by the in-the-bag-for-the-left MSM. His son Ben is also a rising star of the House freshmen. Quayle matters, just not to Manhattan-Beltway media elites, which is why they have been so wrong about so much of the campaign to date.

Newt is summoning voters to a version of the 1860 campaign; Romney to 1980. The former says he can sustain this pace and this style over 11 months and against the president. The latter says I am doing it Reagan’s way.


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