I see that some folks are coming around to my notion that Mitt Romney is likely to be the Republican nominee for the presidency:
For all the attention Rudy Giuliani got with that Pat Robertson endorsement earlier this week, the numbers increasingly suggest Romney is going to be the GOP nominee. According to Pollster.com, Romney’s up 14 points in Iowa (28.6 to Huckabee’s 14.8; Rudy is third at 13.7), has a steady and slightly widening lead in New Hampshire (28.8 to Rudy’s 21.4), and, perhaps most interestingly, has begun to surge in South Carolina lately (he’s now in a close third at 16.1, behind Thompson’s 18.9 and Rudy’s 19.8; Romney was languishing around 10 percent there only a few months ago.) Michigan, too, is looking better and better for him. Pollster.com shows Romney in second with 19.5 to Rudy’s 21.7, but Rudy has been trending down there for the last several months, while Romney has been trending up.
On top of the poll numbers, Romney has the personal resources to hold Rudy at bay spending-wise, particularly in a tough fundraising climate for Republicans. So while it’s true that Rudy hasn’t begun his big advertising blitz yet, Romney can respond with overwhelming force once he does.
Hat tip: memeorandum
I’ve also said before that it’s hard for me to imagine circumstances under which Sen. Hillary Clinton would not receive the Democratic nomination. Every time I raise the subject people keep proposing deus ex machina scenarios that all share a common feature: they don’t take into account the reality that everyone who’s planning on voting for Sen. Clinton has already discounted all of the possible problems. Scandal? What sort of scandal haven’t the Clintons already shrugged off? Lack of experience? Her supporters don’t seem to care. Lack of presidential temperament (as suggested by her handling of healthcare reform)? Don’t care. And so on.
IMO MItt Romney is the first-tier Republican candidate whom Sen. Clinton is best-prepared to defeat so, if Republicans insist on nominating him, I think we’ll be saying “President Clinton” again pretty darned soon.