Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Woe Is Willard (New Hampshire Victory Edition)
Well, the results from New Hampshire are in, and it looks like Willard Mitt Romney may have wobbled only a little bit. Thirty-nine percent is five points lower than his highest Granite State polls, but it was plenty big enough for a comfortable win.
Still and all, we cats are seeing some cracks in the veneer. No one in Pundit World will say it, but it is our considered opinion that Willard failed in New Hampshire. Here's why.
He's campaigned there for six years. He's been running for President for thousands more than that. The Granite State has always been his primary target. He moved there. He had one of his only two campaign organizations there. He spent tons of money and time there in 2008, after which he never stopped stumping. He doled out huge checks to every New Hampshire Republican, elected official and candidate, in 2010. Except for Ron Paul, none of his 2012 opponents had an ounce of organization or money. And he still only got 39 percent.
We cats never would have thought we'd say this, but Newt Gingrich was right. With all those resources, Romney should have cracked 50 percent in New Hampshire — easily.
In short, Willard is the same old Willard — winning by surviving, by being not quite as clowny as the other members of the 2012 Republican clown college. And while Gingrich, Santorum and Perry have effectively tested several general-election attack lines for Obama-Biden, Willard reinforced his own clown-college status by contributing to the arsenal with wooden, unfeeling, corporate-raider remarks.
So now it's on to South Carolina. We bet that the Romney people wish that the Palmetto State were voting this Saturday rather than next. Eleven days can be an eternity in politics. We expect one of Willard's rivals to jump on the release-your-tax-returns bandwagon soon.
Meanwhile, last night's Granite State results means that this may be our final opportunity to declare that Jon Huntsman is cute. With nearly 17 percent of the vote, he probably has lived to fight another day — but where? The primary map looks pretty bleak. Hey, can we get him back as Ambassador to China?
Finally, let's interrupt this Republican smackdown to congratulate Vice President Biden for his comments to supporters on Tuesday. It was not a statement that a silver-spoon Bain baby could utter with any credibility.
"We inherited a broken bargain," the Vice President said, "a deal that our parents didn't have to face. Middle-class folks, if you gave them an even chance, they got to share in the benefits they helped to produce for this country. That bargain was broken during the Bush years and we were determined to fix it."
We cats PURR.