Monday, January 9, 2012

Maybe Nevada Does Matter, After All?

Now that Mitt Romney's real record of "job cremation" has come to the forefront...

“I would not put the cart before the horse and define him as an unambiguous frontrunner,” DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told TPM in an interview at St. Anselm College in Manchester. “He’s coming off what at some point probably won't even be defined as a win in Iowa where fewer voters came out for him than came out in 2008.” She added that anything less than 50% in New Hampshire should be interpreted as a sign of weakness given his close ties to the state. [...]

“Mitt Romney, I think, is more of a job cremator than a job creator,” Schultz said. She added: “He was a corporate buyout specialist at Bain Capital. He dismantled companies. He cut jobs. He forced companies into bankruptcy and he outsourced jobs and sent jobs overseas. That’s not a record to write home about, that’s not a record to be proud of, and it’s something voters need to know.”

The other Republican candidates are ready to pounce. Apparently, some in the G-O-TEA are already getting sick and tired of a certain someone's "pious baloney"...

While others are, strangely enough, getting sick and tired of the media. For all his desperate pleas for media attention, Jon Huntsman rejects it when he finally gets some.

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So what's going on here? The state of the race is in flux yet again. Mitt Romney still can't seal the deal, or even break 20% (!!!!), nationally. And in New Hampshire, the state where he now owns a house and next door to where he was once Governor, he can't even break 40%. The Republican Party faces a weird dilemma where it has a "clear frontrunner" (Romney) who's also simultaneously a "weak frontrunner". But because no single "anti-Romney" has yet emerged, he's been able to skate by with minority support.

Is this about to change?

Enter Sheldon Adelson. Apparently, he's Newt Gingrich's BFF. And apparently, he's just as mad as Newt about Romney trying to steal his "true conservative" thunder. So now, he's about to hit Romney right on his proverbial Achilles' Heel: Bain Capital. And what makes this even worse for Mittens is that "King Adelson of Macau" is about to target Romney in what may be his weakest early primary state: South Carolina, where Romney now clings to a fragile lead that may very soon evaporate once the "tea party" folks coalesce around one of their own.

So apparently, "we matter" again... Just not in the way Jon Ralston had originally imagined/desired. Amy Tarkanian may still be a complete joke who allowed the "tea party" loons to take over the Nevada GOP madhouse, but Sheldon Adelson is the local righties' top "money man" who can have more of an impact on the Republican primary war than any of the "Tark Sharks" could ever dream of. The Nevada GOP Caucus itself still looks to be a total train wreck in the making, but Adelson's emergence as Mitt Romney's worst nightmare ensures ensures that The Silver State will make some sort of impact on this increasingly weird primary fight.

And what really intrigues me here is that Sheldon Adelson indeed plans to hit Mitt Romney on his record of destroying American jobs at Bain Capital. Just as I had suspected last week, the Bain issue isn't just one that Democrats are now testing against Romney. It can also hurt him on the right side of the aisle, since "tea partiers" seem to hate slick "Wall Street elite" shipping American jobs overseas (even if they're all too often tricked into supporting these very policies that lead to the loss of American jobs) as much as all the rest of us. And Adelson clearly knows this, which is why he's targeting Romney's Achilles Heel in the exact state (South Carolina) where it can cause the most damage.

And funny enough, Mittens is playing right into Sheldon Adelson's hands.

So perhaps this G-O-TEA battle royale really isn't over just yet... And maybe Nevada really will play a significant role in it (just not in the way that benefits the Tarkanians or the state party).

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