Jewish World Review Feb 6, 2012/ 13 Shevat, 5772
Mitt Romney wins, but where's the magic?
By Paul Greenberg
Yet his victory resembled a well-run board meeting more than a political breakout. His victory speech offered a memorable insight or two. (A "competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us.") But the speech as a whole was as charisma-less as he is.
Mr. Romney may be mastering the mechanics of a successful presidential campaign, but not the essence: the magical touch that makes a campaign more than a campaign but a cause. He may have the words, but not the music. Right now he's about as rousing as a sedate trio playing at a tea dance.
He's the front-runner in the primaries for the moment, the polls indicate he's got the best chance by far of any Republican to win the
In this year's
As for the irrepressible, incorrigible, unpredictable
The Newt has been a Comeback Kid so many times that he's become more of a Comeback Geezer. He may yet pull victory out of his capacious hat this time out. ("Forty-six states to go!") But that seems improbable, if not impossible, at this ebb of his political fortunes. It may yet occur to his still large but dwindling number of fans that one reason he's had so many comebacks is that he's had so many failures -- political, marital and ethical.
Is this the time he'll fall and not be able to get up? If so, he'll have a lot excuses to offer. His concession speech Tuesday night was full of them: He was defeated by Big Money! Which sounds like something remarkably out of the Marxist hymnal for a defender of free enterprise to say. They lied about me! And even worse, though he didn't say it, they may have told the truth about him. Naturally, he forgot to congratulate his victorious opponent.
Concession speeches are the most interesting, most telling part of a political campaign. They offer the greatest insight into a candidate's character, his grace under pressure or lack of same. They are the test of a candidate's mettle, and
The one candidate who seems to have won the respect of all the others, and maybe the country's, too, is
If he leaves the race, or rather when he leaves the race, he will come away with much more than a political victory -- his good name and sense of honor. He will have run his race and kept the faith.
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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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