Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's Mitt's To Lose

You heard it here third, after

Mitt Romney's moment from Politico and David Brooks in Tuesday's New York Times.

The Mitt Romney nomination express is about to leave the station. Rick Perry is still a potent challenger, but he's taking on water and embarrassing little details keep trickling out of his campaign. Herman Cain is having his moment in the sun, but after trying to decipher what exactly Cain means with his 9-9-9 Plan, even some conservative voters might take pause. You can't brush off his performance in the Florida Straw Poll, but now he has to seize his moment and make it stick. My sense is that he won't be able to do that for 3 more months. I still think that Sarah Palin will run because if she wants to be president, then this is the only year she can be a serious candidate, unless she runs for another public office and actually serves at least one full term.

So that leaves Mitt, and the smart money is going to begin flowing in his direction very soon. Tea Party voters don't like him, but moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats can comfortably vote for him. He can take a calculated gamble and try to stall the discussion about the Massachusetts health care plan he championed in the hope that the Supreme Court will remove it as an issue by next June. Or he can confront the issue as a state experiment that was different from Obama's plan and passed with bipartisan support. In the end, Republicans will support him because they'll have no other choice.

I do believe that a third party candidate will be joining the race come the spring for no other reason than the national mood would support an impassioned fringe political movement from the left and the right. Perhaps we'll see a Tea Party candidate and one from the anti-Wall Street group. That would be fun.

If I was Obama, and I am most assuredly not, I would start running against Romney right now. Run some ads that show Mitt taking three sides on every position and undercut his jobs program by showing how many companies Bain Capital destroyed while he was in charge. Play offense, blame the Republicans for doing nothing on jobs and stay focused.

What a long 13 months it will be. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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