I’ve been hearing plenty of frustration about how it always seems to be the “establishment” Republican that ends up getting the GOP nomination. As of this moment, Mitt Romney, the most “establishment” of the establishment candidates, leads Iowa and appears to have the inside track to the nomination.
Given that, you’d think Romney would be the one getting hammered, wouldn’t you? But that’s not the case:
Half the ads in Iowa had a Gingrich focus. And the vast majority were negative, per a new analysis from the private Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG). It calculated that 45 percent of the political ads aired in Iowa were anti-Gingrich.
Only one in five negative ads was directed at Mitt Romney. One in 10 ads promoted Romney, according to Goldstein.
What gives? Gingrich has been sliding down for a couple of weeks and doesn’t appear to be recovering, so why still knock Newt instead of focusing on Romney?
It’s not like Romney’s opponents don’t have anything to hit him with. For just one example, I’d have put this on the air in Iowa: “My collaborator and friend, Ted Kennedy”:
Even though Romney’s the most likely to be the GOP nominee, the other candidates are to a great degree leaving him alone. Why? The only reason I can think of is that the others have conceded Romney the nomination and are positioning for a VP nod or a cabinet appointment in a Romney administration. That’s how “establishment” candidates can end up on top. The fulfillment of Beltway hopes and dreams is a team effort, and those few candidates who might happen to be outside that circle and refuse to play the game under establishment rules don’t stand a chance. I think that’s part of the reason why Sarah Palin didn’t bother to run this time.