With the news that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was (no surprise here) collecting nearly $2 million to essentially be a lobbyist for Freddie Mae and him starting to respond to it in a way that will likely attract more media coverage and more questions, if you had to place bets in Vegas on him getting the nomination, the odds would not be as great as they were two days ago.
So this political Quote of the Day from Brent Budowsky seems more fitting than ever:
For Mitt Romney this is like the good old days at Bain Capital, except this time his takeover involves not another company but the Republican Party. In fact, Romney is seeking a hostile takeover of the conservative movement, methodically moving to take over Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and finally Newt Gingrich. Conservatives might remember what Romney did after he took over companies. You did not want to be a worker in a firm Romney took over. He liked layoffs.
I now expect Romney to move fast to the right for a few weeks while he buys stock in the Republican nomination. Once he owns a majority of shares, if he does, that is when he begins to sell his conservative positions, and start buying to his center and his left to get ready for Obama. Goodbye, conservative, hello, moderate, once the time is right for Mitt.
If Romney is elected, and Democrats either keep control of the Senate or win control of the House, Romney will head for Capitol Hill, sit down with Reid and Pelosi, and deal. In fact, even if Democrats lose the Senate but threaten filibusters, which they would, the Romney you will see then will look nothing like the conservative Mitt Romney you see today, and will look more like the moderate to liberal Mitt Romney who was governor.
Who would be the political equivalent of the workers Romney laid off when he took over companies? Of course, conservatives.
Budowsky also mentions bets in Vegas.
One bet seems to be off: stability in the GOP republican nomination race for a few more weeks as Gingrich battles to become the Anti-Romney and if he indeed stumbles someone else moves in to fill the gap.
This is his second chance.
Will there be a second chance for Rick Perry? Michele Bachman?
Or will it be Rick Santorum’s turn?
But the widespread conventional wisdom remains: in the end, when all is said and done, it’ll be Mitt Romney’s turn.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.