I’ve had a very busy post-Iowa day, doing a lot of promotional work for my book, but I wanted to share some thoughts about last night.
Karl Rove said just after 2:00 p.m. eastern time, confirming through official GOP sources, that Mitt Romney will win the Iowa caucuses by 14 votes. However, the final total was 30,015 to 30,007, which is a win of 8 votes. Last night I wrote that a Romney win was huge and he’s got bragging rights, but the story out of Iowa is Rick Santorum and the fact that conservatives have their shot.
You can dissect the political mumbo jumbo of why Iowa gets to go first, but if anything reveals why it’s Rick Santorum’s path to victory.
It’s about maneuvering the field by considering what our country once was, a small group of unaffiliated states at a time when media didn’t exist. Campaigning the old fashion way in Iowa, perhaps, gets us in touch with who we once were, not all of it good, by the way. The trouble is because of this the winner rarely translates to the nomination.
Of course, Rick Santorum wouldn’t have had a chance in Iowa if Republicans had a strong field of candidates that appealed to hard core consevatives, but you go with the politicians you’ve got.
So, conservatives finally have their anti-Romney and this one comes with a right-wing social agenda that’s backed up by true blue collar sensibilities. Mitt Romney has neither.
What Rick Santorum also has is Newt Gingrich at his back. A man who’s out of revenge against the man who took him out in Iowa. Gingrich is coming for Mitt Romney with the intent of taking him out.
Santorum’s also got John McCain endorsing Romney, which will bind conservatives to Santorum forever.
The win, coupled with John McCain and who Mitt Romney is, will also bring Rush Limbaugh and right-wing radio to Santorum’s side.
Rick Santorum, however, is also a man who is against birth control, but loved pork barrel spending, so it’s a target rich environment for Mitt Romney’s oppo murder team.
The sound Santorum is hearing right now is not the buzz of victory. It’s the whirring of Romney Super PAC, preparing to carpet bomb him. – David Axelrod’s, via Twitter
Santorum’s speech, however, was a great moment for this Pennsylvania son of a coal miner. He struck blue collar chords that not one single Republican has touched and he did it a hell of a lot better than Barack Obama has ever done.
Rick Santorum’s extremism is reprehensible and it’s stunning to think the Republicans have given the nod to a man who doesn’t believe in birth control. There’s no way to soften that up, nor is his closed mindedness on gay rights anything but anti-American. But he’s also the first person, beyond Ron Paul, who can talk the language of foreign policy, however right wing, with any conviction and foundation against Pres. Obama.
The man also speaks with real heart and empathy that allows him to connect, something that neither Mitt Romney, who gave a horrible speech, or Pres. Obama possess.
Mitt Romney had the presidential teleprompter set up, but after Rick Santorum started speaking he took it down.
Remind you of anyone?
At least Romney took it down.
Now all Rick Santorum needs is a lot of money and an instant infrastructure that can compete with Mitt Romney, which isn’t going to happen.
Now it’s off to New Hampshire.
“It is not necessarily about the history of his involvement on Wall Street,” Huntsman said, shortly after addressing a room full of doctors and other medical employees at Dartmouth Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. “It is the fact that he has raised so much money from the large banks, the banks that need to be right-sized. If you are the largest recipient of funds from Wall Street, and in particular the large banks, you are not going to be inclined to want to change that model. Because those who run those banks want no change, they profit off the status quo and clearly they are not going to be inclined to want to bring about any change.” – Sam Stein, Huffington Post
What’s left to wonder is when will Sarah Palin endorse?
Rick Santorum is now in the center ring, with Ron Paul, well, the Establishment doesn’t like Mr. Paul.
But anyone talking down what it would mean for Romney if he wins Iowa is simply wrong. It would be a campaign coup of their dreams.
Of course, you won’t hear this on MSNBC, with Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell tag teaming Romney’s team on Super PAC ads, Al Sharpton joining in, clearly showing the same old bias of this cable network. Thank the gods Rachel Maddow was playing referee, though she was outnumbered and couldn’t manage to keep the whole segment from turning into a farce.
Of course, that’s not to say Romney’s victory doesn’t begin with the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United, which many of Mitt Romney’s biggest supporters backed enthusiastically.
However, when you’re going to have an interview with a senior Romney adviser Ben Ginsburg, who should be asked about Super Pacs because he was involved in pushing the case that made Super PACS come alive, you could at least do it fairly or at least one at a time, with a panel that isn’t loaded 4 to 1 against conservatives.
Newt Gingrich wouldn’t be squealing if he had a Super PAC, something all good conservative Republicans are never found without at election season. But hearing Chris Matthews now carry his water is an obvious set up, because if you don’t think Democrats would rather run against Gingrich than Romney you haven’t been paying attention.
MSNBC’s amateur hour election coverage isn’t going to cut it.
As an aside, Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” will reportedly not be on CurrentTV tonight, which was tweeted by Brian Seltzer. He’s been AWOL the whole Iowa run-up.
People also want to forget that back in the fall Mitt Romney was seen as not being able to compete in Iowa, not having a prayer. However, running a stealth campaign, his team quietly got his 2004 team up and going and plodded a plan to make some sort of showing.
There’s no love for Mitt Romney anywhere, with whatever excitement there is seemingly on the side of Rick Santorum, according to reports on the ground, which is all I’ve got to go on from the Beltway. We’ll see if they’re right or if the media blows it again.
Just one week ago the big momentum was with Ron Paul. But then the Establishment Republican class started floating to the Iowa GOP and every media source that would suck it up that this would mean the end of their status. Suddenly state boosterism exploded and Mitt Romney started rising, as Paul was getting hit on Iran.
Will pragmatism win the caucus day?
If Mitt Romney wins tonight, that will be one reason why. But it will take a big turn out.
In Iowa, both Romney and Paul are each up five points among likely caucus goers from a CNN/Time/ORC poll conducted at the start of December. The new survey indicates that Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, is at 16% support, up 11 points from the beginning of the month, with Gingrich at 14%, down from 33% in the previous poll. Since Gingrich’s rise late last month and early this month in both national and early voting state surveys, he’s come under attack by many of the rival campaigns. – CNN Poll: Romney on top, Gingrich fading & Santorum rising in Iowa
Newt’s just so yesterday’s news, as Mitt Romney continues the assault on Gingrich, which was helped out by Republicans and conservatives who know better than to go down that road again.
Joe Scarborough, who was one of the first and most powerful anti-Newt voices to blast on to the scene, and his “Morning Joe” team did more to peel back Newt Gingrich’s real record than anyone. A relentless daily excavation of Newt’s scurrilous political character helped set the stage for Romney’s friends to do the rest.
The headlines today are good for Mitt Romney, very bad for Michele Bachmann.
Politico headline one: Michele Bachmann chair defects to Ron Paul.
At the White House they’ve got to be readying their greatest hits version for the oncoming assault. Obama reelect already unloaded a lot on Mitt Romney, but it didn’t stick with Republicans. You can say it’s because of the lame field, but it’s also because of Romney.
Love him or hate him, Mitt Romney has proved mostly unflappable, except for his moment with Brett Baier that revealed what’s been written about Mr. Romney before. That he is thin-skinned and brittle, something that Obama reelect will mine to the most.
It’s really the perfect match-up, one I’ve been hoping would manifest, which I made obvious, because these two men perfectly represent everything that’s wrong with the Democratic and Republican parties. Obama versus Romney also shows the big two parties as they really are today: corporate, Wall Street candidates vying for top fat cat post.
Neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney have an ideological core or compass. They’ve both been on opposite sides of issues, playing to expediency in the moment when push came to decision. They are both nonchalant where the working class are concerned, neither able to reach the middle class, with hopes of a relationship with we the people non-existent.