The Daily Beast reports that Team Romney is beaming with confidence. For instance, staffers and even Mitt Romney’s wife Ann are talking about what he will do when, not if, he’s president.
“We’re in a completely different stage,” Stuart Stevens, Romney’s senior strategist and image consultant, argued to a couple of reporters in the back of a meeting hall in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Sunday evening, as his shirt-sleeved, blue-jeaned candidate mingled briskly with likely caucus-goers. “I haven’t seen polling on this, but most Republicans think Obama is going to lose. And most of these people”—he gestured at the crowd—“think Mitt Romney’s going to be the next president. So a lot of people are coming to see somebody who’s going to be the next president.”
The author of the piece then wonders whether the Romney-ites aren’t playing with fire. ‘But, wait a minute, wasn’t that dangerous talk before actual voters have actually voted? Wasn’t the former Massachusetts governor’s guru tempting the vengeful gods of politics by venturing into territory once occupied by Mark Penn? Hillary Clinton’s 2008 “chief strategist” preached the doctrine of inevitability, only to be accused of arrogance and proven beyond all doubt to be less than impressive in the prophecy department.’
Well no. These examples aren’t even remotely comparable.
When Clinton was running, those who hated her guts had to find the ‘anti-Clinton’ candidate. They found him in Barack Obama. This was a guy they could all unite behind.
In the case of Romney, however, the opposite is true: the conservative base has tried to find a good alternative (several times even), but has failed to do so time and again. Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry; they all surged in the polls, only to fall back to rock bottom once their records and knowledge were scrutinized.
What this means? Simple: Romney should be able to win. And once he’s the Republican nominee, he should very well be able to make life very difficult indeed for Obama, whose poll numbers aren’t exactly brag-worthy.