Romney poised to fail in Iowa no matter what the outcome
“Like a kid who always does his homework and always raises his hand in class, Mitt Romney’s ambition and organization have both an upside and a downside,” writes the estimable Matt Lewis in a townhall.com post titled Is Romney Losing the Iowa Expectations Game?
At least that’s what I gleaned from my conversation today with Ed Failor, a top Iowa Republican activist.
Failor believes that when the post-Iowa stories are written, reporters and pundits will take into consideration the massive amount of money Romney has spent in building an organization that — for the first time ever — goes all the way down to the county level.
“If he is the Republican nominee, I support Mitt Romney. But I just think he is the guy most at risk to take the biggest hit on Prom night, because he has spent so much more money than everyone else,” says Failor.
Failor believes people could be surprised by Mike Huckabee — or possibly even Rudy Giuliani.
But even if one of these men comes in second to Mitt Romney, the expectations are now set that Romney has spent so much time and energy in Iowa that the second-place finisher should still be far behind Romney. In short, it’s not enough for Romney to win; he has to devastate his opponents. That’s setting the bar pretty high.
By working so hard in Iowa, Romney may have inadvertently created a situation in which there is little upside to winning, and where finishing second would be devastating.
Conversely, let’s suppose Mike Huckabee spends a fraction of what Mitt Romney does in Iowa, yet finishes close behind Romney, in second place. Huckabee’s team might then spin the results and argue they actually won Iowa. Of course, if this were effective, it might also diminish the bump Romney gets coming out of the state … etc., etc.
Willard Milton Romney has set himself up to fail!?—we’re shocked, we tell you. Shocked. Seriously, dear readers, for months and months we’ve snarfed and guffawed derisively as Romney worked assiduously to sabotage his own campaign. Here’s a blast from the past to prove our point: