Texas Gov. Rick Perry has surged past Mitt Romney to become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, but the Romney campaign apparently sees no need to attack Perry... yet. The Democratic National Committee is already going after Perry, as are critics in the media, and other GOP rivals, including Michele Bachmann. Romney's strategy is to wait out the Perry storm, then hit him hard after he's weakened by attacks and his own mistakes, says Marc A. Thiessen in The Washington Post. Will that work?
Romney is setting himself up to lose: There's a reason "outspoken outliers like Perry and Bachmann" are doing so well, says Ana Marie Cox in Britain's Guardian. Today's GOP voter wants a "hellraiser," not someone with Romney's "soothing, wet-blanket anti-charisma." Sitting back passively and relying on name recognition and the notion that you're the "next in line" to be the party's nominee is a losing strategy.
"Why Mitt Romney will fail"
Actually, his strategy is as sound as ever: Prematurely picking a fight with a hot new candidate is a formula for disaster, says Rich Lowry at National Review. Just ask Tim Pawlenty, who unsuccessfully attacked Michele Bachmann. Sure, "Perry has weak spots" in his record as governor and a number of policy flip-flops, but Romney can't call attention to them "without exposing more serious vulnerabilities of his own." So his best bet is staying above the fray while Perry is "dinged up" by everyone else.
"Romney desperately needs the same old strategy"
Make no mistake — Romney has an attack plan: Romney is keeping his powder dry now, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, but the former Massachusetts governor is planning to hammer Perry mercilessly when the time comes. He'll go after him on a number of issues — "immigration, career politician, cronyism, etc." But the real "electric-shock effect" will come when he criticizes Perry for opposing Social Security and Medicare. That would really put Perry on the defensive, especially in retiree-heavy states such as Florida.
"Romney's attack strategy against Perry: Mediscaring?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- In defense of Obama's golfing
- The world is on fire and neither Democrats or Republicans have a clue
- The government is getting into the fact-checking business. Be very, very afraid.
- How Democrats might goad the GOP into shutting down the government
- A trick for better lunch sandwiches
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week