Mitt "I'm The Only Sane One If You Discount Jon Huntsman" Romney is scheduled to visit Borough Park Brooklyn next month for a sit-down fundraiser with representatives from the Orthodox Jewish community. According to Gestetner Updates, Romney is due to pick up $100K from the visit, well shy of the $400K he earned from a September visit to Queens. Naturally, Bob Turner thinks that Romney is trying to pull a Bob Turner on a national level. "It’s an important recognition of what happened in my race. This is an awakening of a new political force," Turner tells the Post. "The Jewish community is a force to be reckoned with…They went to my side in a very large way.”
But Barack Obama is no David Weprin, (or Anthony Weiner) and Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind illustrates Romney's problem among potential voters nicely: "I would pay money to watch a debate between Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama." Although he's a Democrat, Hikind is supporting Gingrich because of his position on Israel, and one of many who want to elect Anyone But Romney. "Newt has all the ingredients to be a great leader. This is a guy who really gets it in terms of the well-being of Israel." He's also excellent at lobbying while pretending to be a historian.
Republican strategist Alex Castellanos sums up Romney's dilemma thusly:
Month after month, dollar after dollar, debate after debate, we've seen we've Mitt Romney at his best, yet failing to pull away from the field...If Romney doesn't energize his campaign soon, somebody might actually try to win this race besides him.
That might not be hard to do. His competitors are about 10 minutes away from figuring out it is in all their interest to go negative on Romney and drag him down to their level. If they test Romney and fail, nothing is lost. In fact, they'll strengthen Romney and probably make him President. But if any candidate effectively cuts Romney, others will see blood in the water. The sharks will circle. They'll start thinking, "Hey, anybody could win this race." They'll squint, "I could win this race!"
Somewhere Barack Obama is smiling. If they bring Mitt Romney down, it's jump ball for the GOP.
But Romney's secret weapon that Castellanos isn't counting on? His hair. Romney's barber in Boston, who claims clients sometimes ask for "The Mitt" in hushed tones, tells the Times that his steady, conservative cut matches his staid beliefs: “He wants a look that is very controlled. He is a very controlled man. The hair goes with the man.” The barber adds that, “I will tell him to mess it up a little bit,” but that Romney doesn't relent.
So criticize his waffling if you must, at least he has his haircuts.