I am a little perplexed right now. In Iowa, Sarah Palin told Iowans she'd be looking more at Santorum. He won. In New Hampshire, she didn't say anything knowing that Romney would take it and he did. In South Carolina she told people there she'd vote for Newt to keep this contest alive for longer. He won. He, of course, will claim all the credit and be a big puffed up political balloon until he pops. I have a hard time believing that Newt's SC momentum will mean much in the long run because he is SUCH a damaged candidate. Divorced twice? Life-long Washington politician? With ethics violations? Please. All the grandiose ideas in the world and all the calling-out-the-media in the world don't change what he is at bottom.
So what is Palin doing, exactly? With all due respect to her, and conservatives in general with the Tea Party in particular, I'm not sure that I completely agree with what she's doing, though I don't entirely disapprove. At minimum, she's directing people to vet each and every candidate. She might even be dragging out this process to try and take Romney's chance at nomination away entirely if she keeps telling each state how to vote. I think, though I admit I am not sure, that such a thing would be beneath her.
But here's what I'm thinking: this might all be a very good thing! As strange as it sounds, I think the added time in vetting candidates will result in the GOP getting the best possible candidate. Romney is becoming a stronger candidate. The others, except Ron Paul, are also becoming stronger candidates. They are explaining themselves better. Each are showing their colors and allowing the public to get to know them better. The better, in fact, that I'm liking Romney. I didn't favor him initially in this election season. The longer Newt has the limelight, the more conceited he gets, the more dirty political games he plays, the uglier he appears to the public (remember what he was like back in Iowa?). Santorum seems a little disappointed that his momentum has not carried into SC, which gives me every hope that Newt will feel the same way in a few weeks' time. I wouldn't be surprised if Santorum and Romney both benefit from Newt's future drop.
Florida, here we come. Please, Sarah Palin, do NOT recommend Newt in the future. He plays dirty and he lies. Telling Mitt Romney that it's less important for him to release details of his ethics violation report than for Mitt's tax returns to be released? I hope people aren't stupid enough to buy that. Telling people his ex-wife is a liar and that plenty of people (who have not appeared to back him up) know she's lying? Classy, compassionate, kind (I'm sarcastic here in case you can't tell!). He's just what I don't want in a presidential nominee.