Those Who Don’t Remember the Past…

Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it, which is what the GOP is doing now.

In 2008, many evangelical leaders publicly lamented that they hadn’t united behind Mike Huckabee to stop McCain.  In 2012, these same leaders don’t like Mitt Romney any more than they did McCain, yet what have they done to unite behind another candidate?  They’ve done way too little, way too late.

Mitt will win South Carolina, and skate to the nomination from there, because of the votes split among Newt and the two Ricks.  If there were one Newt Perrorum, he could defeat Mitt.

Mitt has been running for 2012 since the day he dropped out in 2008.  You think the conservatives/evangelicals would have been running too.

I Think We Saw This Coming

The Club for Growth (or as Mike Huckabee calls it, The Club for Greed) is having a meltdown over Newtie’s attacks on Mitt’s Bain days, calling these attacks “disgusting,” and telling him to STFU ASAP:

“Attacking Governor Romney for participating in free-market capitalism is just beyond the pale for any purported ‘Reagan Conservative.’ Newt Gingrich should stop his attacks on free markets and apologize to Governor Romney for them.”

Um, anybody remember Newtie apologizing to anyone for anything, ever?  And if he were to start now, I think Mrs. Newtie #1 and Mrs. Newtie #2 would be way ahead of Mitt in that line.  Take a number, Mittens, and don’t hold your breath.

A Little Authenticity from Mitt

Mitt Romney told an audience in Nashua, New Hampshire, “I like being able to fire people.”  Um, Mitt, we know you think that, but you’re supposed to keep it to yourself.  TMI, Mitt, TMI.

Back in the 2008 race, Mike Huckabee said, apropos of Mitt, “I want to be a president who reminds you of the guy you work with, not the guy who laid you off.”  And apparently liked doing it!

 

Watch the Questions Santorum Gets in the Debates

With the boost from his Iowa performance, Rick Santorum will definitely get more questions in the debates this weekend in New Hampshire than he’s ever gotten before.  But watch what kinds of questions he gets.  Will they be about the economy and foreign policy?  Or will they be more narrowly-focused on social issues?

Back in 2008, Mike Huckabee complained (quite rightly) that he kept getting the “religion” questions in the debates.  Will the same happen to Santorum tonight and tomorrow morning?

Of course, Santorum has some control of his destiny.  He can very quickly answer a question on birth control, and then say, “I want to use my time to weigh in on that Iran question you just asked Gov. Huntsman.”

These two debates are Santorum’s most important events in the campaign so far.  They will have an outsize impact on how he does on Tuesday, which in turn will affect whether he arrives in South Carolina having clearly taken the “not Mitt” mantle from Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.

In a way, the Santorum campaign really begins tonight.

Almost Half of Iowa GOP Hasn’t Decided

With a week until the Iowa Caucuses, 45% of Republican voters say they are undecided.  I don’t think it’s because they have so many favorites that they just can’t decide among them.

I’m predicting a low turnout, lower than 2008, when Mike Huckabee won and Mitt Romney came in second.  I think a lot of the undecideds will decide by staying home, voting not with their feet, but with their tushes firmly planted on their couches.

The Des Moines Register Just Endorsed Mitt Romney

From the endorsement:

“Sobriety, wisdom and judgment.

Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader.  Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government.  Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses.”

They endorsed John McCain in 2008, when Mike Huckabee won the caucuses and Romney came in second.

Huckabee’s Presidential Forum

I think Newt Gingrich won the Huckabee forum.  “Good Newt” showed up tonight and was articulate, calm, and presidential.  It helped that he went first.

It may have hurt Mitt Romney to go last.  He had to sit in the back watching the others and losing energy.  His tentativeness made him seem like the most moderate of the bunch, to the left of everybody else, which is the wrong place for him to be.

I don’t think anybody had a really bad night.  Ron Paul was off in his own little universe.  Rick Perry seemed to belong down with Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum rather than up in the top tier, so his performance was aligned with current polls.

This would have been an excellent forum for Jon Huntsman to show off his conservative credentials, his sharp mind, and his extensive knowledge.  Huckabee made it clear that Huntsman had turned down the invitation despite numerous requests.  An unforced error by Team Huntsman.

Excellent job by Governor Huckabee and his crew in providing an innovative format with serious questions from thoughtful questioners.

I Like Jon Huntsman, But…

Jon Huntsman said that he was skipping Mike Huckabee’s candidates’ forum on Fox News tonight because “We’re going to stay focused on the endpoint — that’s winning New Hampshire.”

Um, Jon, Huckabee’s show is broadcast in New Hampshire.

You’d assume from that quote that rather than go to New York City tonight, Huntsman is in New Hampshire.  Actually, he’s in North Carolina.