Yes, circus fans, Mr. Inevitable is back! A new and even fiercer fusillade of fire from da Establishment, which these days apparently includes not only Bob Dole but Drudge and talk radio (except for Rush) against high-flying Gingles climaxed on Thursday, but fear not! The daring old man on the flying trapeze had his best act coming up: another GOPer debate! On CNN with a loud audience!
But a funny thing happened on the way to the presidency by acclamation: Casino Newt fell off the high wire and down down down. At least according to all the live bloggers, the dead bloggers and that guldurn media in general. They all gave the fight to his Romneyness, who moreover won this time not by default, but by punching, landing blows, etc. etc. as the metaphor quickly breaks down.
So promptly on Friday the latest round of polls showed Romney in the lead, by around 9 points. So that's it, it's over! Romney will win FLA and the nomination! Mr. Inevitable! It's all over but the counting!
But wait! Haven't we heard the Mr. Inevitable cry before? The election isn't until Tuesday! Sort of (lots of absentee and early voting in FLA, so...who knows?) Anyway, there's time for more spills and chills and thrills and above all, comedy.
Here's what we do know: Romney got credit for besting Gingles by relentlessly attacking him. That may have indeed destroyed Gingles in FLA, and deeply wounded his candidacy (though some suggest Gingles can survive and win more primaries in the South.) But it did nothing for his Romneyness.
In fact, the more Romney talks, the more questions are raised, the more lies are lied and exposed, and the more his negatives go up. What has particularly hurt him and may stick to him and haunt him the rest of the way is being the poster boy for rich guys who don't pay their fair share in taxes--which is going over really badly.
|Here's the joke that is supposed to be true. Newt: Why do people dislke me so |
instantly? Dole: It saves them time.
Gingles meanwhile feels even more aggrieved and is launching fresh aggressive attacks on Romney. So this weekend here is what Romney faces: new charges on his involvement in a company convicted of Medicare fraud, from both Gingles on FLA TV--and the Democratic National Committee.
Meanwhile the economic news continues to be good and President Obama is solidifying the Democratic coalition. He told Dem House members that they should work with Rs to pass needed laws but "Where they obstruct, where they’re unwilling to act, where they’re more interested in party than they are in country, more interested in the next election than the next generation, then we’ve got to call them out on it,” Obama said. “We’ve got to call them out on it. We’ve got to push them. We can’t wait. We can’t be held back.”
But back to the circus. Rick Sanctimonious reputedly had a good debate, but he's so far back in the polls and so close to broke that he's taking the weekend off and leaving FLA. Ron St. Paul has hardly been in FLA at all except for debates, but he's made news when a Washington Post story quotes folks who were involved claiming that he indeed approved those racist newsletters--he even proofread them.
So here's how it looks now: Gingles' latest rise energized the Rabid Right, they got a taste of triumph but if Romney takes the nom now, they are going to be very aggrieved. But it seems unlikely they could agree on a third party candidate (Trump? Hermaniac Cain? Sarah?) so it seems more than possible to me that a lot of them will just stay home in November.
Update: Speaking of Queen Sarah, here's what she had to say Saturday about Mr. Inevitable getting the nom too soon: "Without this necessary vetting process, the unanswered question of Governor Romney’s conservative bona fides and the unanswered and false attacks on Newt Gingrich will hang in the air to demoralize many in the electorate. The Tea Party grassroots will certainly feel disenfranchised and disenchanted with the perceived orchestrated outcome from self-proclaimed movers and shakers trying to sew this all up."
But there's plenty of circus still ahead. War on the Sunday shows, FLA will arise groggy by TV ad onslaughts to vote Tuesday, and the pundits will dance, dance, dance!