Saturday, January 21, 2012


Mitt Romney is a much weaker natural politician than Newt Gingrich, but really, folks, Gingrich has only one strength, and Mitt Romney, after flailing around, has finally figured out how to combat it, apparently:

Mitt Romney leaves NBC Florida Republican debate uncertain

NBC is denying reports that it plans to cancel this Monday's GOP debate in Tampa Bay, Florida, because Mitt Romney has not yet committed to participating.....

But as of this afternoon, NBC has left the standard Monday program listings in place -- "Fear Factor" at 9 p.m. and "Rock Center" at 10 p.m. -- a decision the network attributs to an abundance of caution....

Campaign sources say they are unaware of any cancellation, but Romney's unwillingness to commit could leave the debate's status in question....

Debates are all Newt's got. If it's a TV-ad campaign (as Florida certainly will be without debates), Romney's going to outspend Gingrich and that will be that. And Gingrich makes a lot more mistakes when he's off the debate stage -- criticizing Paul Ryan, launching an attack on Romney as a capitalist -- that he does when he's on.

Sure, voters clamor for the red meat at the debates -- but will they miss them when they're gone? They've had twenty-three of these damn things already -- I really don't think they'll demand a twenty-fourth, even if Gingrich's campaign is chasing Romney around with a campaign staffer in a chicken suit. (There'll be pressure in the political media as well, and Romney might foolishly succumb to it, though if he does, he's a fool.)

But I'm wondering why the debate seems to be on the verge of being canceled altogether -- you know Gingrich and Paul, at least, are going to keep campaigning after South Carolina along with Romney. If you think these debates fulfill a civic duty to inform the public, why not just let Mitt and Ron (and perhaps Rick) go at it without Mitt? (And won't the ratings be good if the crazy GOP base anticipates more red meat from Newt?)

Well, maybe the GOP, in conjunction with the Romney campaign, has had the good sense to coordinate this: Mitt drops out of the debate and then the party, gently but firmly, urges NBC not to go forward. The party's leaders also must have finally figured out that this is how you shut down Gingrich.

There are, God help us, five more debates scheduled after the next one -- one in Florida at the end of the month, and four more in late February and March. All of those are co-sponsored by state Republican Party organizations or, in one case, by the Reagan Library. My guess is that these establishment types are all going to have the sudden revelation that debating time is over in their party. I think we'll see a wave of cancellations. Really, are these establishmentarians going to let Gingrich win it?


UPDATE, SUNDAY: Never mind -- Romney will participate in both Florida debates. I think he's crazy. I think the GOP establishment is crazy. Just strong-arm the process, shut the damn things down, and let the anti-Romneys howl.


c u n d gulag said...

Today, in the Republican search for the Presidential "Holy Grail," we bring you "The Tale of Brave Sir Mitten:"

"Look, it's MY field. MY bat. MY ball. So, this game is finished. Go play with yourselves. Oh, gosh darn it, that didn't come out right!"

The networks will be disappointed because this was their newest and cheapest reality show - "American Freaks!"

No scripting, and the actors come to them! It's all free!
All they need is a red, white, and blue set, a director, some cameramen, and some willing stooge who wants face-time as a moderator.

Next, to cover for this, they'll ghost-write a book for Mitt. I'll be an update - "Profile in Courage: The Greatest American Hero of Them All."
It'll be the stories of how Ronald 'Maximus' Reagan freed us from the yoke of Liberal Socialist bondage, while toppling the USSR single-handedly.

Maybe Mitt flip-flopping means he really IS like Reagan - he can't remember shit either.

Danp said...

The timing would certainly be awkward, especially if Mitt doesn't release his taxes. If the establishment really wanted to help him, they would have the debate and ask Mitt is he can sing like Obama. Then Mitt could have his own special rage against the media moment.

c u n d gulag said...

What would Mitt sing?

T.Ko's "I'm So Popular?"
No, that would be a blatant lie!

How about Bon Jovi's "Last Man Standing?"
Hmm... Too true.

No, T.Ko.
Lying is what Mitt's all about.

Ten Bears said...

I read somewhere this am he would be there.

From the department of be careful what you wish for: I've been trying for upteen years to get people to see that it's all just a media event, and just when it seems the light is cracking through these poor dears' blinders the media turns it around and makes the audience the star! Watching even moments of these debates is like watching Jackass the Uber-Reality Show.

I do think there is real value in continuing, regardless the corporate media's bias and no doubt dis-satisfaction, to publish these debates in their scheduled venues. Get the poison out there where the Holy "Independent Voter" Grail can see it.

cwyatthouston said...

Quote of the century, from the comments section of Gail Collins' column in today's NY Times: Liberals just don't get it: marriage is a sacred bond between a man amd a woman. Until she gets cancer. Then it's a sacred bond between a wife and a husband and the next wife. Until she gets MS, then it's a sacred bond between the second wife, her husband, and a congressional staffer. I'm pretty sure this is all in the bible, next to the commandment forbidding taxation of the job creators.