There is a rich history of political parties trying to influence the opposition’s winnowing process, in order to ensure that the least viable candidate is ultimately presented as the nominee.
No one should be surprised that the Democrats are running negative ads about Mitt Romney in hopes of aiding Newt Gingrich’s candidacy. Even with all his obvious shortcomings, Romney is the wannabe most likely to attract the all-important center that determines electoral outcomes (now that Jon Huntsman is out of the race). A Gingrich nomination would make the general election Obama’s to lose, and if Gingrich came up short in the primaries, at least the Dems will have gotten a head start taking Romney apart.
What is quizzical is how readily Republican primary voters seem to be falling all over themselves to play into this strategy. Is the prospect of a first-class debate butt-kicking of the foreign-born pretender really that irresistible?
And let’s not forget, while it may be child’s play for Newt to make mincemeat out of the wooden, maladroit Romney, a Harvard-trained law professor just might, in the words of Muhammad Ali, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Throughout his life, Newt has believed that he has never met his intellectual match. Let’s hope that, with the help of his temporary allies, he prevails in his quest for the nomination. Conservatives aren’t the only ones who would lick their chops at the prospect of an Obama/Gingrich debate.