Mitt Romney knew this stride couldn’t last forever. The now former pseudo-front runner appeared to have been hoping for a path unchallenged; after all, he had paid his GOP dues and waited in line.
But, Newt Gingrich’s recent ascension to the throne of candidacy threatens to do more damage to Romney than simply wiping that confident smile off his face; he may very well back Romney into a dark corner where only desperation stands to defend him. The only reason Romney has been given front-runner status is because no challenger, up until now, has forced him to face his flawed political persona.
Romney might be able to convince us all of his fidelity to his core, but unfortunately for Romney, he has some serious commitment problems when it comes to picking a side, and most of those flips have been captured on tape (no wonder he doesn’t go on Sunday morning talk shows anymore). Romney has one major problem which is making all of this worse: He tells you what he thinks you want to hear. He’s so desperately afraid of hearing boos and leaving a crowd unsatisfied, he’ll risk anything, even having to swallow painful clips from his more free-thinking days. All the distractions — Cain’s accusers, Perry’s gaffes and momentary brain fog — they’ve all allowed Romney to stand back and stay quiet.
It seems the reason why Republicans "don’t like [him]," as Time puts it, is because they never have and never will stand behind someone who’s a people-pleaser and will pay any cost to please them. They don’t respect that, they don’t support it, and they want to see a fighter. They don’t want to spend the next 11 months trying not to gag as Romney’s gilded personality and his old-fashioned Ward Cleaver mentality spend every hour wasting time smoothing out old flip-flops. They prefer a candidate who will attack Obama hard and remind them of election days past, when they went to the polls with their heads held high as they punched in names like Reagan and Bush, and not like last time when they held their noses as they punched in McCain, if they even went at all.
Gingrich seems so elated to be given the opportunity to crush Romney and run with the ticket, he’s almost stunned himself. Talk about a candidacy that was pronounced dead just months ago, only to come back to life with intensity and the kind of tenacity conservatives seem to love. Gingrich must prove one main idea to voters if he is to take the nomination: He would make this election an absolute referendum on Obama, whereas Mitt would bounce the focus right back onto himself on every issue and allow Obama to convince the nation that the charming former governor standing next to him just ain’t ready for primetime.
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