I give you new language. All politics is mortal. Now this is so much more complex than it sounds. On the one hand, every mistake, any gaffe in politics can be deadly, bringing even the most inspired campaign to a crashing conclusion.
But just as surely, America loves a comeback; people want to see a victory well won. They want to see a worthy struggle. They want to see one final round. It is the way of all sport. You do well to remember that your opponent can always turn the worst slip-up around. Rebound. Resurrect.
Republican presidential candidateis going to need several rebounds to get to Pennsylvania Avenue. His most deadly opponent is not either of his party’s remaining primary rivals, former Speaker or former Sen. Rick Santorum. Nor will it be Obama in the Fall general election. It is the mainstream center-left media that will seek to steal every pass the people will throw Romney’s way.
Consider the latest development in thesaga.
Just today (March 15, 2012) CNN reports that President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, the famously foul Rahm Emanuel, now Mayor of Chicago, attacked Romney in terms of recent comments by conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. We are told again that Limbaugh employed a slur in reference to a leftist student activist. Then we are told why Emanuel thinks this reflects unfavorably on Romney.
CNN did not tell us again of the multiple slurs admitted by Emanuel over the years, some against his fellow Democrats. And CNN definitely did not tell us why this does or does not reflect well on Obama. Not even whether Emanuel, or anyone else for that matter, would think so. Perhaps CNN chose not to ask Emanuel, so as not to put him in the awkward position of gross inconsistency and vile partisanship.
This is the skilful skewed pseudo-reportage that Romney must stare down. He will prevail because he is the only one adequate to the task. Gingrich simply blasts right back. Sometimes that works, as when he went at CNN debate moderator John King at the Jan. 19 Southern Republican primary debate for bringing up details of Gingrich’s past marital woes. But all too often, such an explosion simply lends itself to additional biased depictions of a thin-skinned combatant.
Santorum fares worst of all. He blindly falls into the trap of one-sided media reports and resorts to attacks of fellow Republicans as when he unbelievably solicited Democrats to vote for him in the Feb. 28 Michigan open (to Democrats as well as Republicans) primary, calling Romney a “bully.” It is one thing to take advantage of enemy support against friendly rivals but to campaign for it as if the greater enemy is within is just deadly dumb.
Romney well understands that the coin of political fate retains the ancient face of the Roman god, Janus. Two faces, in fact, on one head, each face looking in exactly the opposite direction from the other. That makes for tricky geography. It will make for a shrewd Romney against an over-confident Obama locked in his narcissus of uncritical media.
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