GOP Analysis: Newt Wins And The Earth Shifts
She will enter the room nearly blind. With tiny hands and tiny toes flailing through the thin atmosphere, she'll gasp desperately at the first chance of air.
As consciousness dawns, there is presented a future universe she won't understand. And as years go by, some things in the known world may become clear; others may not be dreamt of in her philosophy.
What she will never know, however, is a time and place where Mitt Romney is an undisputed GOP frontrunner in the 2012 primary election.
That world is vanished, dispersed like sea foam into the surf on Myrtle Beach.
If robo-Romney had moment and cause for self-reflection during this grueling whorequest of a primary, he'd stare deep into the abyss beyond the Atlantic and curse the grounds behind him.
What had been a most meticulously performed primary up to this point could not have been more different surrounded by Palmettos. If only he released those blasted tax returns or at least presented an acceptable case for why he didn't.
But the worst week of the campaign has instead managed to release the Kraken. Better yet, and of higher literary value, Romney's lost weekend has brought Newt to the full height of his powers like Voldemort in the Potter's graveyard. And yes this setting of the text makes Rick Perry the martyred Cedric Diggory (who better to play him, I ask, than a gaunt and vacuous Robert Pattinson).
Such bellyaches the GOP establishment must be having watching You Know Who galumph into Saturday night on the way to Florida. Though Gingrich says he's a changed man, can they really believe that this uncontrollable force who left the public scene a decade ago in moral disgrace has truly made amends? His victory speech, which leapt from platitudes, to Lincoln-Douglas, to the old community macher Saul Alinsky, says perhaps no.
Still it was mesmerizing and an extrapolation of what made his victory in South Carolina so dominant. Also what makes some people really, genuinely like him.
The Nate Silvers of the world can break down the numbers to see which demos fell this way or that. Women felt comfortable, by and large, to vote for a man whose (second) ex-wife painted a portrait of self-serving infidelity. And evangelicals are still unsure of Romney's Mormon background. Thirty-five percent of voters made the choice in a flash of gut judgement before entering the voting booth.
Ultimately, what the third stage in the primary revealed is that debates really do matter. There are two before the Sunshine poll on Jan 31 and while Gingrich will try to stay loose, stay fresh, and keep it real, Romney will need to double down on pointed intensity.
Just like that, the race that everyone had declared over has done more than turn a corner or tightened the screw, it has shifted dimensions.
Everything we've listened to ad infinitum will now be repackaged, redistributed, and reingested. This time though, there's two playing at this game with egos inflamed and Super PACs at the ready.
O brave Newt world, that has such people in't!
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