The smart set will be quick to tell you that Romney still has plenty of money and organization. So did Tim Pawlenty in Iowa and Michele Bachmann beat him. Those things may be beloved of the Republican “strategists” — who are, of course, merely tacticians obsessed with Operation Market Garden but who can’t find Berlin on a map — but in a primary campaign that is primarily being waged via the televised debates, they count for much less than they used to.
What counts is passion. The 2010 midterms proved that, but the GOP bonzes seemed embarrassed by the Tea Party’s success. They pushed the “electable” and “inevitable” memes as hard as they could in the service of a milquetoast candidate, and the mainstream media, openly rooting for the other side, was only too happy to help them out. As I’ve been saying, Romney’s been the candidate the Democrats have wanted to face all along, in part because of his glass ceiling. Which is turning out to be a glass jaw.
So Romney has simply got to come up with a more cogent rationale for his candidacy than he has up to now if he has any hope of becoming president. He can’t run for CEO any more.