Mitt the Flip Romney is on a big old roll, and his momentum may cause that big red Mack truck he's driving to flatten Fred Thompson's widdle red pickup. E.J. Dionne, Jr, of the Washington Post, calls it this way:
Watch out, Fred Thompson: By the time you get into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney may have run away with your constituency.[...]
Of all the candidates, Romney has the most comprehensive strategy not only to win the Republican presidential nomination but also to position himself for next year's election.
I've been impressed with Romney's presidential stature in each of the debates I watched, and there is no question that he'd make a formidable opponent. He's a weathervane dressed up in an empty suit, but his chameleon-like quality of morphing into whatever you want him to be makes him very electable.
And it does look like Fred Thompson has cowered in the corner a little too long. Dionne again:
In the meantime, Thompson's decision to delay his entry into the race until the fall is looking like a mistake. His hope had been that he could escape serious scrutiny until he jumped into the contest, allowing him to build his image as a party savior for the sorts of conservatives to whom Romney is appealing.
But scrutiny has come to Thompson anyway -- notably concerning a shake-up within his non-campaign and his work as a lobbyist for a pro-choice group. "He missed his optimal timing," a relieved senior Romney adviser said of Thompson. "He played the Kabuki dance just long enough -- and then too long."
Fred has failed to meet expectations several times. His fans have been lining the streets for months now, waiting for the Fred Thompson parade to begin. The first week of July was his window of opportunity and he missed it, and now each week that passes put Fred further behind the Flipper.
And Fred's money woes will only get worse as Romney's star rises. Seeing Hillary's rise will no doubt cause more and more Christian conservatives to hold their nose and support Romney financially over the pro-abortion Giuliani. At some point, even for high-minded Christian idealists, electability becomes the most important factor.
Romney spent millions in Iowa and New Hampshire buying name recognition in the hopes that wins there would slingshot him into the lead. The strategy seems to have worked. Whether Fred Thompson's little red pickup truck can catch Romney is becoming more doubtful as time goes forward.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!