Thingish Things

Welcome Back, Mitt Romney

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Dec• 21•11

Things are looking up for Mitt Romney. Besides new polling numbers which have him, once again, leading the field in Iowa, his primary opponents’ slips are showing.

Newt Gingrich has inexplicably introduced the idea of police officers dragging judges off the bench to congressional inquisitions.  And today he told a gay American that he should vote for Barack Obama simply because of the man’s sexuality. Nice, Newt!

Ron Paul praised Wikileaks as “patriotic” today — evidently it’s patriotic to out U.S. intelligence assets and to leak top-secret diplomatic cables — and Rick Perry showed off his foreign affairs acumen this week by referring to the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il as Kim Jong, the Second. (At least he didn’t call him junior.)

John Hunstman has remained totally uninteresting, and Michele Bachmann…well, Michele Bachmann hasn’t done anything wrong. She’s just broke.

All this puts Mitt Romney just where he’s been all along — slightly atop the field. Only he’s a little stronger now, since the rest of it has proven weaker. But Mr. Romney is still sitting with a disquieting base vote of around 20%. He needs to grow that considerably.

The big question is what happens to the support of the candidates who eventually drop out?  Do Bachmann supporters got to Perry; do Perry supporters go to Bachmann?  Or do they go to Ron Paul, who may never drop out, but whose isolationist foreign policy positions make him unelectable in a serious Republican primary.  Maybe they go to Rick Santorum or to Newt Gingrich, if Mr. Gingrich isn’t too busy exploring statehood for extraterrestrial colonies (think the debate over Puerto Rican statehood has been tough?)

But all signs today — today — show Romney rebounding from a poor debate performance in Iowa two weeks ago and re-taking the lead. Romney has shown tenacity, too, in doing it. For one thing, he’s  managed to tick Newt Gingrich off, which a lot of people appreciate.

Maybe what we’ve all been waiting for is a great big fight — to see if Romney is willing to engage in one. It looks like he is. His kicks to Newt’s backside have been all to his upside.

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