Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The 800 pound gorilla is named "Marco"

Yesterday, I was reading this article at Newsmax by someone named Andrew Henry. As I read it, I couldn't help but think the writer was allowing himself to led around by the nose by Roger Stone, a guy who--though very effective, very good at what he does--is hardly an unbiased source, hardly someone you would go to for an objective opinion.

In the article, Henry is making a case for the Florida Primary to essentially be Rubio-Crist all over again, with Newt playing the part of Rubio, of course. And it is true that people who had worked for Crist's campaign are now working for Romney's. But staffers are staffers, professionals. The good ones go where the work is. Supposing that the presence of similar faces in Romney's campaign automatically makes him a new version of Crist is flawed thinking.

And let's be serious, as much as Newt might relish the comparison of himself to Rubio, he knows he's not Rubio. Everyone with a clue knows it. The only people that don't--the clueless--are the ones Newt was hoping to trick into believing it.

But that's not gonna happen. Why? Because Rubio has put his foot down. Hard. As Jennifer Rubin notes, Newt and his campaign's attempts to paint the Rubio/Crist equals Newt/Mitt picture has now cost them dearly, as Rubio--who said he would remain neutral in the contest--felt it necessary to make a statement:
Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Romney is a conservative. And he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me. He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me, and made a real difference in my race.
Rubio may not be endorsing anyone, but that comment pretty much equals the same thing for large numbers of Florida Republicans, I assure you. And if that wasn't enough, Rubio also decided to take issue with a Gingrich Spanish-language ad the campaign was running. I say "was," because after Rubio spoke up, the Gingrich campaign wisely felt it had to pull the ad. But the damage has been done.

All of this points to two things that are now crystal clear:

1) Gingrich is too clever by half. He thinks that a little sugary talk from him is enough to draw the support of major conservative figures. He's so blindingly arrogant, he doesn't realize minds sharper than his--like John Bolton and now Marco Rubio--see right through him.

2) Marco Rubio can do almost no wrong right now. Gingrich's missteps here might very well have ended his chances in Florida and any slim hope he still had of getting the nomination. Yes, Rubio's opinions carries that much weight.

Cheers, all.

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