I’m kicking myself for delaying those last couple posts – they’d been in the works for about a week, and my pick of Gingrich as the Romney spoiler is looking better already. I still think Romney will be the GOP nominee – but I think that Gingirch is going to last a lot longer as the anti-Romney “Flavor of the Week.” So far, those candidates have mostly failed essentially because they’re “not ready for prime time” – Perry’ debate performances and Cain’s pseudo-scandal and foreign policy flame outs.
Gingrich won’t make either of those mistakes – from a scandal perspective, it’s not that he doesn’t have any skeletons, but most of them are probably far out of the closet at this point. He’s been in politics for a long, long time – while some old dirt will be wiped off and made to look new, most of the dirt on him is old news. He definitely won’t step on it in debates or public appearances like Perry – I’m not a huge fan of his, but there’s no denying he’s a smart guy and savvy political operator.
So with that, I’ll keep my Romney prediction, but I predict this will rapidly become a two-man race, Gingrich v. Romney. Gingrich may have the Conservative cred to get a lot of GOP voters hot – but his long-standing negatives will also leave a lot of them cold. Romney will continue to make everyone feel luke-warm, and he’ll ultimately get the benefit of the doubt from long-time Gingrich haters.