Thingish Things

And Then There Were Three

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Aug• 15•11

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are locked on each other already. The two are sniping back and forth 48 hours after Perry’s entrance into the GOP primary.  The news media is gobbling it up. Finally, something of interest to cover.

Perry, a late entry in the race, needs to mix things up. The worst thing he can do is jump into the race and not make a splash, a la the Fred Thompson Fizzle of 2008. That would be deadly. Romney sees his front runner status in jeopardy, so he needs to fire back. And on a more primitive level, the patrician Bay State governor cannot look intimidated by the dusty, hard-charging Texan.

Both see the other as the chief competition on the road to Tampa, and they appear today like wrestlers circling, eyeing each other’s weaknesses.

Watching them both from outside the circle is Michele Bachmann. Her walk is a tricky one; she needs to stay relevant, but above the fray. She cannot afford to drop out of the headlines, but she doesn’t want to be pulled into the dirt either.  Nothing would benefit Bachmann more than a knock-down drag out fight between the two front runners, while she stays on a disciplined message above it all.  That is her one chance at the nomination. 
Meanwhile, the rest of the Republican field, save one, occupies only space. Ron Paul fills an important nitch — he’s the libertarian true north in the race — while the other also-rans wither between debates.

Tim Pawlenty showed the good sense to exit when he did. Barring a surprise new entry of national stature, this race is down to three. One of them will be the next President. 

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