United States

Feb 1, 2012

Mitt in a canter, thank god for enthusiastic amateur night

Well, that was quick. Polls closed in Florida at 8pm (noon AEST), and CNN declared victory for Mitt Romney at 8.30pm.

Well, that was quick. Polls closed in Florida at 8pm (noon AEST), and CNN declared victory for Mitt Romney at 8.30pm, with Romney polling at 47% to Gingrich 31%, or 550,00 with 365,000 after nearly 60% of the votes having been counted. Indeed, most polls had closed at 7pm, but the doofus arrangement of having the panhandle on a different time zone meant there was an hour extra to nail it down in the boondocks. That, plus early voting -- as many as 35% of the votes had been cast in the week previous -- plus the reliance on voting machines meant that it could all be wrapped up pretty quickly. Rick Santorum came in third with 13%, and Ron Paul was in the caboose with 7%, both very much expected results. So too in recent days was the Gingrich collapse -- although few forecast that Romney would scale the heights of the high 40s (a result that may come back as the southern-based panhandle votes come back in). Given Florida's status as a mini-sampler of America at large, this is all bad news for Gingrich. The state itself is far less conservative than its almost neighbour South Carolina -- only about 30% of Republicans cast themselves as "very conservative" here, and many would be northern in their thinking, and attracted to Romney's deathful plastic CEO imagery. Neither Romney nor Gingrich have spoken yet, and Gingrich may not, but if he does he will blame the elites and the media and the outspending. He will be right on that, of course -- the outspending by the official campaigns here is five-to-one. The unofficial spend, including the "hands-off" ha, ha, ha SuperPACS, must be approaching 12 to one. Romney ads crowded TV, slating him for being a liar -- about his closeness to Ronald Reagan -- a disaster -- as speaker in the '90s -- a man handed out for ethics violations (not really true), and a consultant to Freddie Mac, in a state where 30-50% of mortgages are in negative equity. Nevertheless, Gingrich would have been more competitive had he not so wholly stuffed up the debates, after his strong showing in South Carolina. Having staked his claim by attacking the media, and then roaring out his big America message, he prepared for the Florida debates by -- we are told -- taking a couple of naps and thinking it through himself. Romney, by contrast, hired the best debate coach around, and tightened up his act, coming out as punchy, focused, and not a giggling New England frat boy. Going on the attack, and showing that Gingrich had investments in Freddie Mac -- the pot kettleness of all this is off the scale; a hue darker than black is required to characterise it -- gave him a win. Newt's mad talk of going to the moon, and making it a state -- you can see him lying in a hammock, thinking it through, pleased with the elegance of it -- did the rest. There has also been a delayed effect from the tell-all interview by his second wife before the South Cal vote, in which general bastardry was, believably, alleged. Consequently, Gingrich has lost a lot of groups. He appears to have lost the Tea Party vote -- only 40% of identified Tea Partiers supported him, being drawn back into the general Republican maw -- but he also lost evangelicals. Above all he lost women -- the polling gap between men and women for Gingrich is about 55% to 29%. Should that have done him over, then Marianne Gingrich has had a revenge not so much served cold as chilled to Bose-Einstein condensation level. Every relationship has one or two screws left over, and Marianne Gingrich just got hers in. Can Gingrich come back? He is en route to Nevada, where his main backer, hyper-Zionist casino developer Sheldon Adelson lives. He wants Newt in the race to the end. So does Newt. But by now the GOP establishment will be leaking against him -- even at the cost of Republican image. I would expect a) Newt to power on, and b) a new uber-scandal about him to hit in a week or two. Now Romney's about to speak. So I am off to The Dollhouse Lounge next door, where it is also amateur night, and they are at least enthusiastic ...

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

5 thoughts on “Mitt in a canter, thank god for enthusiastic amateur night

  1. Frank Campbell

    Really, what’s the point of this? A pedestrian running commentary on events which are covered live on global media- even here.

    It’s tedious and indulgent. No better use for your supposedly scarce resources, Crikey?

    But at least it’s free of Hunter S. Thompson imitation…

  2. Holden Back

    Romney’s debate coach was Bachmann’s coach previously.

    Some commentary about these shifts in employment and allegiance – for instance where are all of Gingrich’s staff who resigned last year? – might be interesting.

    David Remnick has also started the separation of ‘the Jewish vote’ from the ‘Jewish donors’, and noted that much of Israel’s intelligence and military leadership has publicly backed away from Netanyahu’s adventurism in relation to Iran, which Republican candidates seem keen to support.

  3. Coaltopia

    It’s a soap-on-a-rope opera. Thoroughly entertaining.

  4. Andybob

    I’ll have Frank’s share of this if he doesn’t want it.
    Great writing – “pot kettleness”, “Bose-Einstein condensation” “every relationship has one or two screws left over”. All bon mots worth the price of admission apart from the succinct analysis.
    I believe the good doctor would also have attended at The Dollhouse Lounge.

  5. Kevin Herbert

    There are 564 delegates that Gingrich and Santorum can’t win because they are not on the ballot in 5 states which makes it virtually impossible for them to win.

    This is a contest between Romney & Paul who are the only candidates with a national organisational base, notwithstanding the support for Gingrich by the odious far right Zionist zealot Sheldon Adelson..and his AIPAC gangster cronies.

    Paul will start to shine in the upcoming caucus States…..he’s likely to win Maine.

    Hang on to your hats.

    NOTE to Frank Campbell: surely you’re not not implying that the Aussie MSM coverage has any merit at all e.g. dear old Aunty’s 7.30 Report featured the repitilian Bill Cristol Jnr as a leading US political commentator, without mentioning his Trotskyist background & membership of the war criminal neocons.
    You can forget the neocon -owned Oz which crops Ron Paul out of pictures until last week, while Fairfax are taking their copy straight off the necon/MIC/AIPAC owned US MSM…..kids stuff journalism.

    Guy R is providing a decent, independent analysis of what is the most intriguing run up to a US Presidential election in at least the last 50 years, where both parties are proposing extreme far right domestic & global agendas, save for Dr Ron Paul.

    I believe the irrefutable confirmation of the Gr8 Satan’s status, which has resulted in the murder of more than 4 million innocent civilians since 1960…..or not, will depend on Ron Paul’s success …..or not.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details