“It’s Not about Winning Here Anymore…

It’s about destroying Gingrich — and it’s working.”  Thus speaketh a Romney campaign staffer to Buzzfeed.com’s Zeke Miller.  Oh, but we must remember, it’s just politics.  And all good Republicans will come together in August as we rise to face Obama.  Kumbaya, shmumbaya.

I’ve been elected to public office, and worked on state and national campaigns.  I’ve played the game within the corridors of Washington as a political appointee at one of the most politicized agencies at that time, the USDA, during Bush 41.  I’ve personally experienced the fun when people are “out to get you”.  Newt has, or had the same afflictions as almost every politician who works in Washington, self-aggrandizement and self-interest.  He may be guilty of hubris, which led to his Icarus-style fall to the earth the rest of us inhabit, but I don’t believe he’s the extreme, manical, erratic individual being painted by the Romney campaign.  So why the vitriol?  Why this level of destruction?  Is there something else going on that even the most astute of pundits are missing? Are we witnessing a strawman at Newt’s expense?

The vitriol that we are seeing in Florida surpasses differences of opinion and the spirited fights of past primary seasons.  Could the Romney camp be signalling to AxelPlouffe a sample of what’s to come in the general election.  I’ve written in earlier posts that Romney has streetfighter in him, because it’s going to take a Lee Atwater style campaign to get Obama out of office.  Perhaps we are witnessing a well-thought out strategic and tactical campaign, which is undergoing tweaks and turns before the full-scale frontal assault begins in the Fall.  If that is the case, the downside is the alienation of the very core voters that Romney will need come November.  He may be wildly successful in more ways he counted on.  Hence the shmumbaya.

This election, like others past, has the usual hyperbole that goes with it.  But this time, the hyperbole may in fact be true.  The voters instinctively know this election is different.  And  while many conservatives and Republican rank and file are deeply interested and impassioned about these primaries, they’re not the only groups that will elect or re-elect a President.  Voters are listening and watching.  The question is, is Romney.

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