Greetings, Mitt Romney picked the right time to get hot in a debate. And Newt Gingrich picked the exact wrong time to turn in a flat, uninspiring performance.
Gingrich, who had been leading the polls in Florida and nationally, seems to be falling from his peak.
The media narrative used to be that Gingrich, though flawed himself, had exposed Mitt Romney’s weaknesses as a candidate. Now, the media narrative is that Newt Gingrich brought out the fight in Mitt Romney and revealed him as the superior candidate he always was supposed to be.
Last night’s debate also the last one for at least a month. The last time Newt Gingrich saw an extended period of time without a televised debate, in December, his poll numbers crashed as Romney and Paul used radio and television commercials to pummel him.
Whereas in South Carolina Newt Gingrich successfully attacked Romney’s electability, in Florida, Mitt Romney has rebutted that by rising up and attacking Gingrich’s greatest strength, his skill in the debates.
Tuesday’s Florida primary might really be the end.
News You May Need:
BI: Ron Paul hasn’t disappeared. He’s just pursuing an entirely different strategy.
NYT: defence budget cuts mean actually cutting things like bases, or pay-increases.
WP: Obama proposing plan to increase college financial aid while decreasing tuition.
TBT: Helpful explainer to Florida voters of the role of SuperPACs
WSJ: U.S. economy gets a 2.8 expansion.
The Day’s Reads:
David Brooks: Obama is proposing medium sized solutions to big problems.
Eugene Robinson: Obama can win the argument about upward mobility.
Francis Fukuyama: Maybe institutions aren’t as important as we thought to civil life. Political will is much more important.
This Day In Politics:
On January 27th 1967, the Paris Peace Accords officially ended the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde was killed in action. the conflict’s last recorded American combat casualty.
Tweet Of The Day:
From Newsweek’s Lois Romano, on the ravenous Mitt Romney after last night’s impressive debate performance.
No primary. No major speeches. No trip-wires for a European crisis. All the evidence suggests this is a weekend to relax.
Our advice: batten down the hatches.