Next, you need to work on shoring up your Southern flank. Once again, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is going at you, this time attributing your reelection being “in large form, based on that he got a lot of federal money for his state.”
Going tit-for-tat with Paul so early is a loser, and touting your ties to former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour can only get you so far. So, in addition to looking for Barbour’s backing, start making friends with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who now lives in Destin, on Florida’s Emerald Coast.
In case you might have forgotten, Romney was repeatedly tagged in the Southern primaries by Georgia’s Newt Gingrich and Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum. Romney’s South Carolina loss had his campaign staring into the abyss, but his win in the Florida primary kept him on track for the nomination.
Sowing seeds in that region today could pay off later, in the primaries and on Election Day. Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) should not be the only voices there.