Via GOP12, I’m surprised that this modest statement of painfully obvious fact is making waves today. Click the image below and skip ahead to 8:00 for the money part, although the whole thing’s worth watching. He starts with a cute bit about phoning the families of National Guardsmen to say hi, proceeds to talk about Campaign ’08, and then after the part about Obama praises Palin for her “energy and spunk and passion.” (“Code words,” says Ben Smith, trying to stir up trouble.) What makes this newsworthy, I guess, is that it’s a rare caution about hubris at a moment when not only has Obama been beaten to a pulp politically but establishment Republicans are themselves on the ropes and being hammered by tea partiers. The key word, though, is “economy.” Like Mitt says, it will come back despite The One’s best efforts to the contrary, and when it does he’s going to get most of the credit. The only hope for the GOP nominee is that Romney is right in thinking that “the American people have established a perspective on the President which is going to be lasting.” Will it last, though? If unemployment starts to dip and Obama inches right to pass some economic legislation with the GOP Congress, he’ll sell himself next time as the centrist pragmatist of David Brooks’s dreams. Which will be Romney’s cue to argue that the GOP needs a nominee who’s equally centrist and can compete for swing voters, thus raising the question: Does a stronger Obama actually improve Mitt’s chances for the nomination by making electability more of an issue for base voters? Hmmmm.

He says he expects that 10 Republicans will be on the stage for the first primary debate. Will Mike Pence be one of them?