Governor Romney has decided he wants to be President.
After getting hammered in South Carolina, Governor Romney decided he wants to be President of the United States.
The Governor had the fire in his belly, but was running a soft campaign, based on inevitability and electability. He and his supporters would run effective, negative ads, especially against Speaker Newt Gingrich, but he tried to stay above the fray. He had never released his tax returns in past campaigns, and was stalling on them this year, almost as if he had something to hide.
He was a soft campaigner, appearing all too programmed and robotic. FDR was also a patrician, but he could connect with the people. Romney’s defenses of Bain Capital and capitalism were weak. He would have been destroyed in November as President Obama can demagogue even better than Speaker Gingrich.
Governor Romney had appeared on a roll, winning Iowa and New Hampshire. South Carolina would form a trifecta.
The Fates turned on Romney. He lost Iowa and South Carolina. To paraphrase George H. W. Bush, Governor Romney lacked the Big Mo. He lost South Carolina because he appeared wooden, evasive and unprepared in the debates. He stuck to the script.
The Republicans want a fighter in November. They need a strong nominee who can withstand the negative ads coming from the President’s campaign and the media bias, and then strike back. Newt was the man, not Romney. Momentum swung to Gingrich. The Congressman may have a lot of baggage, but he could fight.
The Governor was facing a failed campaign. He could no longer win the nomination by relying upon his finances and organization to outlast the other candidates.
He had to change if he wanted to become President. An epiphany was at hand.
He quickly released his tax returns. He’s rich, but we already knew that.
South Carolina steeled him as a campaigner. He was prepared for the debates, putting Gingrich on the defensive. He hoisted the Speaker on his petard when it came to Freddie and Fannie, making Newt look like a hypocrite. The Speaker’s campaign had peaked, and the Governor survived.
He still has to get better in defending Bain, capitalism, and RomneyCare, but voters saw the potential.
Most significantly the Governor was aggressive. He was strong, authoritative, and showed no mercy. Senator Santorum may have technically won both Florida debates on points, but the Governor won Florida.
He's now a better campaigner.