If you are competent, successful, well spoken and smart but you’re also ………….. grey; what do you do?
You need contrast, you need Newt. But wait ………. Newt’s is going 100% positive; it’s going to be about good Newt. Damn!
Mitt needed two things. He needed to show the money that he could fight hard. No one in their right mind thinks the general election campaign is going to be anything other than low down dirty. The money wanted to see if Romney would go to the mat. The negative ads in Iowa smacked down a rising Newt. Mitt also needed a foil in the specific. Running against the herd was an exercise in maintaining a 25% standing that appeared to be going nowhere fast.
What to do? Piss off Newt! It’s time to bring bad Newt back into play. Mission accomplished, bad Newt is back in the game and the theatrical foil is in play. Newt is pissed! Mitt has successfully smacked down the “smartest guy in the room” and its déjà vu all over again as bad Newt is resurrected. Did I mention pissed off?
Newt attacks venture capitalism! He mirrors President Obama’s rhetoric. It’s not about Newt’s grand ideas anymore. Newt ends up looking angry and small. Newt appears to be running to destroy Romney as opposed to running for the nomination. It begins to look less like a campaign than a vendetta.
The stage is set. New Hampshire fulfills Romney expectations and crashes a 9% Newt who runs neck and neck with Rick Santorum and is beaten by John Huntsman. Romney delivers a high flying speech at the end of the day and does so with some passion, barely making mention of his opposition. Newt looks even smaller by comparison.
Bad Newt, however, will not give up; nor will bad Newt shut up. It’s exactly what Romney needs.