Romney's New Hampshire Win: The GOP's Duracell Bunny Marches On

A Commentary By

Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire Republican primary with ease, despite attacks from a number of party members. He's too robotic, too richand lacks principles, they say. But so what? Romney doesn't need to be perfect, he just needs to be more convincing than his competitors -- andhe already is.

Photo Gallery: Romney's Second Triumph Photos

Battery maker Duracell once had an excellent advertising idea -- a pink stuffed bunny. Powered by their batteries, he whirled through their television spots banging a drum. His drumming was a bit stiff, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. After all, the Duracell mascot could outlast all the other rabbits, who only had ordinary "zinc carbon batteries." He continued drumming away long after the others had run out of energy, and that was the point.

Mitt Romney is the Duracell Bunny of the 2012 Republican primaries. The former governor won in New Hampshire on Tuesday, just as he did the first caucus in Iowa. This time his advantage reached 16 percent. Polls also show Romney is the favorite for the next two important primary states, South Carolina and Florida.

But at most, the front-runner is celebrating plain victories, not wild parties. Voting for Romney is about as exciting as "Vegetables Are Our Friends" week at the school cafeteria, criticized New Republic columnist Walter Shapiro.

Even if that's the case, Romney will continue drumming towards his goal with determination, just like the Duracell bunny. Ultimately he doesn't want to be the king of conservatives, just their candidate. To achieve this, he'll just have to hang on longer than his opponents. Romney may not be the perfect competitor, but he is the least imperfect in the race.

Rivals Weaken Slightly

To understand that, compare Romney to his rivals. In second place was eccentric old man Ron Paul. He wants to abolish the Federal Reserve and end American involvement in wars, positions that make him popular with young voters. But in Florida, which he plans to bypass with his campaign, he stands no real chance -- and without that state, no candidate can become president.

In a distant third place was Jon Huntsman. He served as Barack Obama's ambassador in Beijing, where he learned Mandarin, which he liked to demonstrate in New Hampshire. Maybe that's why the voters didn't understand him. With a whopping 170 appearances in the state, he still only managed to secure a third-place showing.

Even further behind was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who liked to preach about the holiness of matrimony, even though he is already on his third marriage. Rick Santorum, the devout Catholic who nearly beat Romney in Iowa, made an equally poor showing. He spent his time at appearances prophesizing how support for gay marriage was a form of the apocalypse.

And Rick Perry, the once swaggering governor of Texas? During one TV debate the candidate seemed incredibly proud to be able name the three federal agencies he would abolish as president. But he failed to pull off the task. Less than 1 percent of voters in New Hampshire were convinced.

'Occupy'-Style Attacks

These dwarves can only be dangerous to giant Romney if they all gang up against him together as they did earlier this week, when they attacked him for the sins he committed during his time as the head of the investment firm Bain Capital. The multimillionaire is too rich, they charged in unison, too heartless as a businessman, a "vulture" at Bain who bought other companies, shut down their plants and eliminated jobs by the dozens.

The Republican candidates suddenly sounded like Occupy Wall Street protesters, a development that really didn't go down well with a lot of conservatives. And who should take such a litany from these candidates seriously? Gingrich has been paid $60,000 a piece for speeches; Huntsman comes from a billionaire family; Santorum has earned millions as a lobbyist in Washington; and Perry likes to eat "socialists" for breakfast.

Although the dwarves won't brandish their weapons all at one time, they still have the potential to assiduously rough Romney up. One casino billionaire just gave Gingrich $5 million so that he could, among other things, air an entire film about Romney's time at Bain. In the film, people who lost their jobs because of Romney's restructuring complain into the camera.

Making Mistakes

Though the outcome of the New Hampshire Republican primary election is clear, it isn't the end of primary season. Because of the complicated arithmetic relating to the delegate counts, the circus on the right could keep going, regardless of Romney's lead. And with it would come the dirty debates over whether the frontrunner can succeed in convincing dissatisfied conservatives.

Could the crossfire from within his own ranks turn Romney into a weaker candidate for the Republican Party? Perhaps. The criticism from fellow party members has led Romney to make some mistakes. In a speech on Monday, Romney seemed to say that he likes to fire people. The comment came within the context of insurance companies, which he wants to encourage to be more customer friendly by giving people the option to drop them for poor service. But the sentence, coming from the co-founder of Bain Capital, has taken on its own momentum.

Maybe the harassment won't weaken Romney, though. After all, the internal attacks are preparing him for those that Barack Obama's strategists have long been planning. And looking ahead to a duel with the president, Mr. Duracell suspects that Obama's batteries aren't fully charged either.

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1. beegdawg007
beegdawg007 01/11/2012
The most charming and charismatic American president since WWII was Ronald Reagan, who most Europeans disliked. With half of America, Obama wins no awards for charm or charisma. Only the far left sees him in that light. Romney is not my favorite GOP candidate, but he is less annoying than most of the others with the exception of maybe Huntsman. What Europeans may not understand is that this US election will be decided by the swing of the electoral vote in just eight states. The other 42 are already predetermined as Democrat or Republican based on the state voter registration. The three most important states (largest electoral vote count) are Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. To carry Florida, whoever the GOP candidate is, he will likely choose as a VP running-mate the very popular Florida Senator, Marco Rubio. Ohio voter have already voted Romney as their choice. So, I predict that the GOP goes ahead with Romney.
2. More Leftist Smears
rechtsami 01/12/2012
Romney is definitely "Republican lite", but then, so are all the other candidates this time, even Ron Paul. The thing that Euros, particularly Germans, seem to have a hard time grasping is that Obama's popularity here doesn't come close to matching the popularity he enjoys in Germany, or in Europe as a whole. The times are moving to the Right here in America, and none too soon. Our Republic is under attack, both from within and without, and it is time to start taking it back. I think I have to vote for "none of the above" this year in the primaries...maybe if the Magic Monkey wins another term, the country will be devastated enough by the policies of the collectivist aparatchiks to actually throw off their tyranny.
yukabacera 01/17/2012
---Quote (Originally by rechtsami)--- Magic Monkey ---End Quote--- Congratulations, that just invalidated anything you might have had to say. I dearly hope that the political spectrum in America isn't tilted far enough to the right that racist slurs are an acceptable method of political discourse.
rechtsami 01/24/2012
---Quote (Originally by yukabacera)--- Congratulations, that just invalidated anything you might have had to say. I dearly hope that the political spectrum in America isn't tilted far enough to the right that racist slurs are an acceptable method of political discourse. ---End Quote--- Oh, it isn't a "racist slur", anymore than than "post turtle" would be. Obama was plucked from Chicago's Machine politics and appointed president out of relative obscurity. He is a totally bought and paid for entity, controlled by the Democratic Machine, and performs just as adequately as an organ-grinders monkey, hence the term "Magic Monkey". And as to the tilt of political discourse here, it is much the same as in Germany. One can say whatever one wishes, use whatever slur one likes, as long as it is directed at someone on the Right of the political spectrum. Racial slurs against Whites are not only tolerated, but encouraged. "Rednecks", "Crackers", "Hillbillies", etc. Anything goes. You can talk all day about "Stupid Redneck fools", but Odin help you if you say a word about a Black, a LAtino, or - gasp - a Jew!
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