Mitt Romney Can't Seem to Win For Winning
And the winner of the Iowa straw poll is...Mike Huckabee, who came in second? That's what one would think if one relied on the pundits on the Sunday morning news and analysis programs, NBC's Meet the Press, CBS' Face the Nation, ABC's This Week.
True, the actual winner was Mitt Romney. True, the Romney Campaign turned in a very strong performance, just as Governor Romney predicted. True, Romney trounced the other GOP contenders, leading second-place finisher Huckabee by some 14 percentage points. True, Romney's well-oiled and well-financed campaign discouraged Rudy Giuliani and John McCain from even showing up in Iowa to compete in the straw poll. True, Romney's showing among the Republican Party activists who participate in the Iowa straw poll should have dispelled any lingering doubt about whether Romney can appeal to the GOP base, or whether his Mormon religious faith would put off fundamentalist Christians.
But the emphasis on every program except Fox News Sunday was the second-place finish by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and speculation on whether his showing vaulted him into the "first tier" of GOP Presidential candidates. Only Chris Wallace on Fox actually interviewed the winner, Governor Romney.
At some point, the talking faces will have to acknowledge the achievements of a politician who says what he is going to do--in this case, win the Iowa straw poll--and then goes out and does it, convincingly. That type of performance characterizes the leadership of Mitt Romney, whether in politics, business, community service (such as his rescue of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics), and, not unimportantly, his family life. At some point, whether it is in the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, the South Carolina primary, or on the February 5th Super Tuesday, a string of victories by the Romney Campaign will undeniably begin to mean something to our political analysts. At some point, one can't ignore success, and it wouldn't matter even if one does, because the voters have the final say.