03 March 2012

Pressure on Newt?

Memo to Newt Gingrich:

If you don't feel a lot of pressure to drop out right now, you should.

Mitt Romney won handily in Arizona, and beat off a significant challenge in Michigan, largely because you stay in and you take some of the anybody-but-Mitt vote away from Santorum.

Personally, I have no sympathy for Santorum. None. The only more-or-less mainstream candidate who makes sense to me at all is Ron Paul, for the pragmatic reasons I believe I've discussed here before.

But Paul is almost certainly an irrelevance now. If you disappear, most of your votes naturally go to Santorum, and there is some chance of heading off Mitt. If you want that ... act. Furthermore, people might well be excused for thinking that you do want that. When it seemed (briefly) that you were the leading non-Mitt candidate, you made exactly that appeal, hoping that Santorum would drop out and leave clear the field for you to stop the steamroller.

So, if your desires are larger than ego gratification -- act similarly now.

Even if your desires go no further than ego gratification, getting out would seem to be the best move now.  For then the remaining candidates will have to come to you looking for an endorsement. And you'll provide it in your own sweet time, possibly at your own price.

If, on the other hand, you actually want Romney to get the nomination ... I may have misjudged you.  Because if (but only if) that is your goal, your present behavior as a spoiler is tactically brilliant.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.