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Monday, January 9, 2012

It Could All Come Down to South Carolina

Posted by Paul Constant on Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Mitt Romney is looking fairly unstoppable at this point. Barring some kind of miracle, he's going to win New Hampshire tidily, and polls show him way up in South Carolina and Florida. But Politico reports that Newt Gingrich is building a Bain Bomb in South Carolina, in which Romney is going to come face-to-face with his 20-year career with an asset management firm that profited from dismantling companies and laying off their workers.

We've already heard about the soon-to-be-released 27-and-a-half-minute documentary called When Mitt Romney Came to Town. But the temperature is rising everywhere. Rick Perry's jumping on the anti-Bain hate-wagon—is there a hate-wagon that Rick Perry won't jump on, I ask you?—and Newt Gingrich is turning the volume up on his Romney language, saying that Romney "looted" companies (like a pirate, see).

[Side note: Weirdly, Rick Santorum is not going to attack Romney on the Bain issue. This is strange, because he could profit the most from these attacks. With his biography—son of immigrants, grew up poor—Santorum would make a more believable populist than Newt Gingrich (with his Tiffany's credit account) and Rick Perry (who is the son of a dirt farmer or some such nonsense, but who has earned a ridiculous amount of money from crony capitalism). It makes sense that Santorum wouldn't make Bain his number-one issue; whoever leads the charge against Romney—which is to say, Newt Gingrich—is going to wind up covered in shit and branded as a dirty-tricks politician. But for him to not strike Romney in his weakest point simply reinvigorates the gossip that Santorum is in this for a talk show gig, and that he's not willing to make any long-term enemies out of this run.]

South Carolina has changed the fortunes of more than one campaign, and if Gingrich's Bain assault actually works there, it could throw the race into disarray. Gingrich reportedly has a good organization in Florida that could capitalize on Romney's South Carolina's collapse. Romney probably has Nevada sewn up, but at that point, the race could wind up a disaster. Well, even more of a disaster.

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