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January 23rd, 2012
The lead article in today’s New York Times, “Romney Relents on Tax Returns as Race Rolls On,” describes an embattled candidate and a confident winner, and the categorization is not what you would have thought just two short weeks ago.
And that’s because Newt Gingrich is the confident winner. He seems to have captured the anger of the Republican base, and his debating skills have eclipsed Romney and Santorum because he is not afraid to show some unscripted anger. A candidate who, as Gingrich describes it, is “comfortable in his own skin,” will always beat a phony.
Now, Gingrich does have some high negatives in the country at large, but I’m not so sure the Democrats should be happy if he ends up as the nominee. That unpredictable element could always break in his favor and convince independents to vote for him.
Another debate occurs this evening on NBC in Tampa, Florida, and that’s got to be about the last place that Romney wants to be. Debates are good for democracy, but they represent free air time for Gingrich that he otherwise couldn’t afford. And Mr. Gingrich’s style is tending to create standing ovations by the audience, also reinforcing his message and rise in the polls.
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