Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clowns Go South

Newt Romney gets to be head clown this week.  That's the outcome of the New Hampshire GOPer primary, which notably was badly attended by GOPer voters.  Romney finished close enough to 40% and Huntsman's surge didn't materialize to north of 20%, with Ron St. Paul getting a solid quarter of the vote to come in second.  Much if not most of his votes came from self-declared Independents.

What it all means is that the clown show continues with the same cast for another week, moving down to South Carolina where there are lots of Tevangelicals but also a history of traditional GOPers chosen.  Since neither Rick Sanctimonious nor Mitt Gingrich were significantly stronger than each other (or anybody else), they will see if either can break out in S.C.  The anti-Romney ad blitz there has already begun, but Romney will have a sizeable media presence there too (and some are attributing his retaining his poll margin in New Hamp to a last minute ad buy over the weekend.) With his faint pulse of credibility (third place gets him Anti-Romney status but second would have given him Huntsmentum), Huntsman will try again in S.C. to attract moderate and/or sane conservatives.

So what is likely to happen in S.C. is either somebody finally beats Romney, or he ekes out another victory by less than overwhelming margins.  What's likely to be more interesting is what happens then.  If Romney wins his third in a row, but Gingrich and Sanctimonious still go on (or Cowboy Rick, who got less than 1% in NH)--or especially if they somehow finally combine forces to support a single non-Paul Anti-Romney--while the rest of the world proclaims his Romneyness as the presumptive nominee--what does that say about the GOP, and what does it do to the party and the candidate?

The latest wrinkle in the clown show is that Cowboy Rick and Gingrich are getting pasted by some FOXite conservative media types for what they said about predatory capitalist Romney--Cowboy Rick was compared to one of those envious Occupy Wall Street anticapitalists, and Gingrich was called a socialist!   Meanwhile, it looks like the Gingrich-paid ads slamming Romney--which are excerpted from a "documentary" created by the folks who brought you Swift Boating--are far worse than the Dems would ever use, employing the usual tools of distortion that GOPer groups can't help but use even against the guy who might well be their nominee.

Meanwhile there's a rumor that the next GOPer candidate debate will be held in a bakery that specializes in cream pies...

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