Mittens was for meddling in other party’s primaries before he was against it
Update: moments ago a Romney spokesman had an incoherent explanation for why Romney wasn’t being hypocritical in that video clip:
That was a totally different situation, that was when Mitt was a private sector businessman, before he started his political career. He was an unenrolled voter, and that meant he could go into either party primary [...] He never in any of the races where he was a candidate ever encouraged Democrats to go into a Republican primary and create mischief and that’s what Rick Santorum is doing.
There was a time when the Romney name in Michigan was akin to the Kennedy name in Massachusetts, well received, liked, even across otherwise contentious party lines. But that was before Mittens volunteered a big op-ed saying Detroit should go bankrupt and followed up with a flip-flopping rightward lurch that would leave Ronald Reagan breathless and sea sick. Now Romney is in real trouble in Michigan, and if he doesn’t win it running away it could spell more headaches for conservatives, and more golden opportunity for democrats, in the Republican primary battles that lay ahead. On the race itself, Nate Silver says it’s too close to call:
(538.com) — A second poll was then published, from Foster McCollum White Associates and Baydoun Consulting, which showed Mr. Romney with a narrow two-point lead. That was enough to put Mr. Romney back ahead in the forecast model — by the whopping margin of 0.7 percentage points. The forecast now gives Mr. Romney a 55 percent chance to win Michigan and Mr. Santorum a 45 percent chance.
That’s why Operation Hilarity could actually matter this time. Oppos always try to stir up trouble in primaries, usually by pushing a candidate perceived as too divisive or extreme to win the general and who will divide the base of that party. Typically it’s a pipe dream, and it might turn out to be this time too.
But circumstances in Michigan could hardly be better for such shenanigans. Santorum is considered unelectable in the general, a win or strong showing here would seriously undermine Romney and keep the GOP base divided. It would also give the former PA senator a huge momentum boost going into Super Tuesday early next month. What really makes it fly is the Michigan primary is open, democrats and indies can vote in it. In a razor-thin contest, if only a few thousands dems or indies step in and vote for Santorum, he could win or come very close, setting off the above scenario.
Il try to stay up post results into the wee hours if necessary.