A candidate with even half the usual complement of political antennae would have seen this as a game-changing opportunity to win with conservatives. It was Mr. Romney’s moment to turn his occasional defense of Bain Capital into a broad rallying cry for capitalism. Florida posed the perfect backdrop to elevate his causes of free-market housing and energy. It was a chance to unveil a simpler and bolder economic reform plan.
Instead, Mr. Romney is plodding on. As in Iowa, as in New Hampshire, as in South Carolina, he’s still criticizing Mr. Gingrich. He’s still running on his biography. (Did you know he rescued the Olympics?) He’s still sending the media press releases announcing the latest Miami Dade politician to pronounce him most electable against Barack Obama.
Which gets to the other story of this week: the president’s State of the Mitt Address. Mr. Gingrich might have some Republicans spooked, but Democrats are still hoping for the Massachusetts governor. They, too, have noticed that Mr. Romney is ducking the class-warfare debate, and that not even the Gingrich threat has moved him to engage. They take that as an invitation to make it the central theme of the Obama re-elect. The president’s Tuesday speech was a direct assault on Mr. Romney’s wealth and tax breaks for “the rich.”