This is a candidate that is not easily cowed. Never mind his fourth-place finish in Iowa and never mind Mitt Romney’s successful hammering of his non-lobbying lobbying and less-than-stellar personal past. Newt Gingrich remains convinced that one of the remaining non-Mitts in the race will emerge as “the conservative alternative” and the majority of the GOP base will rally around that candidate. If not, Gingrich said, Obama will “laugh” at Romney.

Unfortunately, the scenario Gingrich spells out isn’t implausible. What would prevent Obama from reminding voters that he created Obamacare based on the blueprint Romney provided? Then again, how exactly would Obama spin that as a bad thing if he wants to tout Obamacare as an accomplishment? Either way, the issue of Obamacare is effectively dead for electoral purposes if either Romney or Gingrich is the nominee. Let’s not forget Gingrich has supported an individual mandate in the past, too.