First, he called Adelson to convince him to stop adding financial support of Gingrich via his SuperPAC. When that didn’t work, he piled on some more of his own money, and those who fund the SuperPacs advocating on his behalf or at least slamming his competitors. When that didn’t work, some shills in the press dropped the conspicuous rumor that Newt’s “…hold a press conference after the Nevada Caucus on Saturday, raising new speculation about his future in the race,” implying he would get out Saturday evening. This was solely to try to undermine the vote in Nevada in Romney’s favor by creating the impression among Caucus-goers that Gingrich would be out of the race by night-fall anyway. You might wonder why Romney who is the putative front-runner, and his army of establishment hacks, would go through all this trouble if he’s got this “all sewn up,” as the “inevitable” meme pretends. The answer is as simple as this: It isn’t over, and Mitt knows it, because he can read a calendar.
One of the things weighing in Mitt’s favor is the postponement of the Texas primary. Texas is a state likely to favor Gingrich, but its primary that should have happened on Super Tuesday has been postponed to April 3rd, and may yet be kicked further back on the schedule over judicial tinkering with the redistricting. Texans are starting to speculate that perhaps this is intentional, and is being used to reduce the importance and relevance of Texas in selecting the nominee. There is good reason for that speculation, but I think it won’t matter unless the Texas Republican party gets smart and makes it a winner-take-all affair, which sine it is after April 1st, by national party rules it could be.
Romney doesn’t want this primary dragging on and on through the convention, because at the rate he’s spending money, he’ll soon look at the general campaign with emptied coffers and no ability to do in any measure to Barack Obama what he’s been trying to do to Gingrich, with some success. As it is, he will be at a huge financial disadvantage come the onset of the general campaign. This is why for Mitt’s sake, he must push this to a speedy conclusion, and it’s the reason why since Iowa, he’s been relentlessly hammering Gingrich.
As Governor Palin recently pointed out, we all love a rough-n-tumble debate, and a strongly contested primary, but I think Mitt’s reliance on these under-handed tactics and back-room deal-making will eventually take a political toll. Even as he rides high on the expected wide margin victory in Nevada, people around the country are beginning to take notice of the fact that he is outspending all opponents by a phenomenal amount but when it’s closer to par, he can lose, and lose big.
Voters in the GOP must ask themselves now, because it will be much too late in the fall, whether we want to rely upon a candidate who can only seem to win where he either has a distinct home-field advantage, such as in New Hampshire and Nevada, or a gigantic financial advantage such as in Iowa and Florida. He’s not likely to have many of those advantages, particularly in money, when it comes to the general election, so we must begin to ask of Mitt Romney: How will you outspend Barack Obama’s expected $1billion war-chest?
He can’t. If this is so, my friends, we have a problem beyond his lack of conservatism. If at the end of the day all he has is money, but no good arguments to elect him other than he’s not Barack Obama, we’ll lose, and lose big. The Democrats know this, and this is why they want Romney so badly they can taste it. It’s time to rethink this a bit and realize that if money is everything in 2012, then the GOP is going to get beaten badly. Only a candidate who can take the fight to Obama with a small relative budget is capable of beating him, and right now, by any guess available, that candidate is still Newt Gingrich.