Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mitt Takes Michigan

It looks like our former Governor Mitt Romney has emerged victorious in the Michigan GOP primary. This was widely seen as a must-win for him given his previous losses (at great expense, I might add) in Iowa and New Hampshire, and the fact that Michigan is one of Mitt's many home states. Romney has the personal fortune to keep him going if he had lost, but three high-profile losses would probably have defined him as someone no one trusts and no one would vote for.

As much as I would have enjoyed the Romney schadenfreude, it's probably better for Democrats that he managed to win (and convincingly so). The longer the GOP field is fractured, the more money they'll spend, but more importantly, Romney's victory should slow John McCain's momentum from his New Hampshire victory. Though I think he's past his expiration date, McCain is really the only Republican who can challenge the eventual Democratic nominee on foreign policy experience. He's also the only Republican with any sort of crossover appeal -- I admit that I myself nearly got swept up in McCainimania back in 2000 when I attended a McCain rally on Wall Street of all places. I'm not sure that McCain has enough money to compete everywhere on Super-Duper Tuesday on anything other than name recognition, and with the field still uncertain, there's a chance that Rudy Giuliani's strategy of skipping the first several contests could actually work out for him.

I tuned in to a few minutes of Mitt's victory speech -- just as much as I could stand. I noted that he made the claim that Washington lobbyists are now scared because he represents change. I had to laugh out loud. I'm sure that these lobbyists are really upset today.

Update: I noticed from the exit polls that Mitt Romney won the self-described liberal vote 33% to McCain's 30%. Maybe this had an effect, after all.