In spite of a carefully timed announcement by Newt Gingrich's ex-wife Marianne on an "Open Marriage, Mistress Proposal", Gingrich rallied from a 16 point deficit on January 3 to a stunning 12 percentage point slaughter of Mitt Romney less than three weeks later.
South Carolina Primary Results
The Associated Press announces these South Carolina Primary Results.
This goes to show you that "It ain't over until it's over."
Dog Whistle Politics
The Financial Times reports Victory Horrifies Republican Establishment
Gingrich didn’t just win the primary. He crushed Mr Romney, by more than ten percentage points, and that after the former Massachusetts governor had a lead of similar dimensions over Mr Gingrich just a week before the poll.
At least among Republicans, Mr Gingrich is so battle-scarred that no matter what dirt is thrown at him – even the fact that his ex-wife said he wanted an “open marriage” – it no longer sticks.
Mr Gingrich is also twice the natural politician that Mr Romney is, and was able to tailor his message on the campaign trail in South Carolina to rouse that state’s voters.
Although he denied it, his continuous references to Barack Obama as a “food stamp president” was called out by some commentators as classic dog whistle politics in a state with a long history of racial tension.
Mr Gingrich will be thrilled with his victory. The Republican establishment, however, will be horrified, because its members think he is unelectable and tarnished in a general election.
If Mr Gingrich wins Florida, expect a huge campaign against him, not from the White House, but from within the Republican party itself.
I will take flack for this but it's all over for Ron Paul. He finished a disappointing 4th. I do not like the news but I cannot ignore it.
This will not stop me one bit from pointing out the flaws of Gingrich, the flaws of Romney, and the flaws of the Republican and Democratic parties in general. Indeed I hope and expect Ron Paul to carry his message to the end in an attempt to change the Republican platform.
The Republican party needs a new torch bearer. New Jersey governor Chris Christie walked away from the opportunity. Christie was not the perfect candidate, rather he was an acceptable candidate.
Nonetheless, one thing is certain. Neither Gingrich nor Romney is the future of the Republican party. Both are failed politicians of the failed past.
A new torch bearer will not come from the existing Republican establishment. My eyes turn towards Rand Paul.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock