SOUTH CAROLINA: Hear The Roar.
And Howie Carr asks: “Why is Mitt ashamed of having a lot of money? If Newt, the born-again Catholic, can brush off his cheating past, how come Mitt can’t explain coherently why it’s OK to pay a 15 percent capital gains rate on money you’ve already paid the top 35 percent income tax rate on when you first earned it? This is Mitt’s problem: He comes across in these debates as a wimp. Dudley Do-Right didn’t play in South Carolina. He’s afraid of his own shadow. He’s overtrained.”
But also a cautionary note: “The Republican primary voters have this dream of a snarling Newt disemboweling Barack Obama in the debates this fall. Talk about myths. How many debates is Barack going to agree to? Two maybe, tops, and both of them will be MSNBC-style — ‘Mr. Gingrich, when did you stop beating your first ex-wife?’ Follow-up: ‘When you did you stop beating your second ex-wife?’ To the “‘Jersey Shore’ MTV crowd, Newt would come across as a fat, nasty, pasty old man. They’re not going to realize what a boob Barack is, because they’re boobs, too.”
And, from Professor Jacobson: A reader poll: Should Santorum drop out before Florida?
What primary voters like about Newt is that he fights, and that he doesn’t concede moral legitimacy to the left or to the media. Romney should have taken my hammer-and-tongs advice.
Plus, how Newt roared back. “Newt Gingrich has had the wildest ride in a primary season since Bill Clinton weathered womanizing charges in 1992.”
And here are more thoughts from Michael Walsh. “What counts is passion. The 2010 midterms proved that, but the GOP bonzes seemed embarrassed by the Tea Party’s success.”
UPDATE: On Facebook, Ray Patnaude is not so impressed with all the hoopla: “Wow, I am so totally shocked that a social con sorta won Iowa, a northeasterner won New Hampshire and a southerner won South Carolina. Look out establishment, it’s anything goes!!!!”