What you won’t see tonight in Simi Valley

The blogosphere is hyping up that the main thing to watch for in the debate tonight is “will Romney attack Perry?”  Many are even weighing in suggesting the Romney should or must attack the Texas Governor.

Prepare to be disappointed.  Do NOT expect Romney to do anything different than what he has been doing, showing himself to be exactly what he is:  economically savvy, conservative (though not a wingnut), and very electable.

Yes, Perry soaring ahead in the polls right now.  So was Fred Thompson for a time 4 years ago.  Romney has been vetted on a national stage for along time… people know about his faults, yet there are attacks coming from all sides on Perry that he has not yet responded to on a big stage.  This includes critiques both from the right (the Gardasil issue, his liberal position on illegal immigration and Texas’s large deficit, among others) but also from the center (in coming across as much less likely to win in a general election and not especially bright or presidential).  The honeymoon is not yet over… but as people learn more tonight and in the 2 Florida debates in the next couple of weeks, it soon will be.

Mitt is a big picture guy.  He knows that Perry has a tendency to spout off without prompting.  He knows that Bachmann can be a vicious attack dog (even when she doesn’t have to be) and, since she is competing with Perry for many of the same types of voters, she now has all the incentive in the world to try to knock him down a peg.  He knows that Ron Paul also just put out an ad attacking Perry.  He also knows that the beginning of the end for him in 2008 was when he responding to Huckabee’s rise in the polls by launching clumsy attacks on him.  Mitt is too smart to make the same mistake twice.

So what will happen tonight?  Romney will come off as competent and presidential, Perry will speak some conservative red meat lines but deliver some questionable ones as well, and Bachmann and Perry will likely get heated at some point, likely on Gardasil and other big government tendancies of Perry.  The media will protest that Romney stayed above the fray when he needed to attack. “But the polls said so!” these reactionary critics will claim. 

It’s coming… just watch.


  1. Can I put $1.50 on Palin somehow miraculously being spotted within 50 miles of the venue?

  2. Anonymous Politico says:

    My prediction stands.