As I mentioned earlier, Newt Gingrich is nicely positioned to embrace Reagan’s 11th commandment and refuse to engage Mitt Romney’s new fusillade of attacks. But there are two additional problems Romney faces. With a brief interruption to smack down Rick Perry, Romney’s been running an anointed frontrunner campaign for over a year. That means he doesn’t get nasty with his opponents. He’s now faced with the prospect of needing to turn on a dime and go totally thermonuclear against Gingrich. And that’s a tough pivot to make quickly.Second, it’s a difficult time to make it. There’s less than a month before the Iowa caucuses and just over a month until New Hampshire. People get busy during the holidays. They’re focused on family. Maybe they’re happy; maybe sad. But to put it in media terms, there’s a lot of counter-programming to break through to really have an impact.
So Mitt’s got a tight and iffy pivot to make super fast and in a climate where it’s hard to break through and people may not be eager to walk through a campaign charnel house. But he has to make it in the next four weeks to prevent the difficult to imagine possibility that Newt could sweep the opening primaries.