Romney Wins Big, But Trouble Awaits
by Michael Tomasky
Mitt Romney got the expected big win Saturday night in Nevada, but I’d bet that if he’s looking back at this past week as the loser on Nov. 6, it won’t be the Nevada win he’ll reflect on. He might spend a little more time reflecting on the weird and seemingly petty axing of his new debate coach, proving, I guess, that he really does like being able to fire people. He really might spend more time thinking over his remark that he’s not concerned about poor people—just an inartful misphrasing, really (or was it?). And finally, he might ponder the numbers 243,000 and 8.3, which were, of course, the jobs-created and unemployment figures released by the Labor Department the day before his victory.
Those numbers may loom largest.
Mitt Romney Hits Jackpot
by Howard Kurtz
Mitt is getting methodical.
In a contest whose outcome seemed preordained, Mitt Romney cruised to victory in the Nevada caucuses Saturday, fueling a sense that he is on a glide path to the Republican nomination—or at least poised to have a very good February.
Romney appeared poised to capture about half the vote in a four-man race, an outstanding showing by any measure. The only real drama was a battle between Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to finish a distant second, with each hovering around 20 percent of the vote. Rick Santorum, who hasn’t had a strong showing since Iowa, was running last.
Romney Cuts Loose O'Donnell, Perhaps Out of Ego
by Michelle Cottle
Not that anyone doubted Romney would win Nevada, what with the state’s sizable Mormon contingent and his boffo showing there in 2008.
It would be nice, however, if the governor could work through some of the core insecurities that seem to have led him this week to cut loose debate adviser Brett O’Donnell, reportedly out of fear that O’Donnell was stealing the candidate’s thunder.
For those not obsessively following Romneyworld, O’Donnell is the former Michele Bachmann aide who, in the wake of the congresswoman’s departure, has been unofficially advising Mitt. A former debate coach for the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University (one of the nation’s collegiate-debating powerhouses), O’Donnell was seen as a driving force behind the governor’s transformation in the Florida debates from Gingrich whipping boy to red-hot Alpha Male.
Ron Paul's Long Game
by John Avlon
The one candidate who doesn’t have to worry about an enthusiasm gap is Ron Paul, who recently described his supporters with affection as an “irate, tireless minority.” Nevada was the first true test of Congressman Paul’s caucus strategy. It is, after all, a state withstrong libertarian and libertine leanings. And the local Paul-ites started organizing here four years ago.
On Election Day, his Clark County headquarters in a mall storefront was a hotbed of activity, young people in suits and ties, feverishly working the phones beneath an American flag and iconography of their aged hero.