Hi y’all! Stuffed with cheesy grits and NASCAR fumes, my team and I are live-blogging the results from the Alabama and Mississippi primaries (and Hawaii caucuses) this evening. C’mon over and have a look.
Here’s my quick take:
With Gingrich and Santorum splitting the conservative and otherwise anti-Mitt vote, Romney could very well pull off the double tonight, as astonishing as that would seem to anyone who’s been paying attention.
Why astonishing? Because Romney is anything but a man of the South. In addition to being a Mormon, hardly a popular thing to be in the fundamentalist South, he’s a northeastern establishment Republican and ex-moderate (and perhaps even still a moderate at heart, if you think most of his hardcore conservatism is just an act). To the extent that he’s a national figure, he links Utah, Michigan, and Massachusetts, three definitively un-southern states. (Utah is sort of southern given its social conservatism, but of course it’s largely Mormon.) Romney just doesn’t connect with the South, particularly the Deep South, and vice versa. We’ve already seen this. Gingrich won South Carolina and Georgia and Santorum won Tennessee. (Florida doesn’t count as southern. Sorry, panhandlers.)
And Romney’s pandering leading up to these two primaries has been even more pathetic than usual. (Did you see Jon Stewart last night?) He opens a speech with “y’all,” talks about eating cheesy grits, pretends to be a football fan (some of his friends are NFL owners!), and asks the lead singer of Alabama, Randy Owen to sing a song, “Sweet Home Alabama,” by a different band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. (Watch the clip. It’s hilarious. Mitt’s so far out of his privileged rich douchebag element.) In other words, it was the same old same old, just worse, just more ridiculous, more worthy of our ridicule.