I thought Mitt Romney’s victory speech was a good one, in that he took the fight to Barack Obama, but did not, as I had hoped, show any magnanimity toward his Republican opponents. Instead, he all but ignored them. Perhaps, he was thinking of how his speech would play with independent voters rather than how it would help unite the party.
He still has that task ahead of him — if he is to achieve the goal of a united GOP convention.
UPDATE: Did Newt even congratulate Mitt Romney in his speech? Had he debated in South Carolina as he’s conceding in Florida, he would have lost the Palmetto State.
If Newt hadn’t lost the contest for the nomination with tonight’s returns, he’s losing it with his response to them. He looks defeated without acknowledging his defeat.
As we watched the Iowa returns just four weeks ago, we waited until past midnight to learn the winner, only to learn a few weeks later that the man who was declared the winner by a margin of fewer than 10 votes actually lost the state by a margin of fewer than 40.
Tonight, the only thing we’re waiting to see is whether Mitt manages to muster a majority.
This is a big victory for Mitt. He wins his first contest in a state where only Republicans were able to vote. And his margin over his closest competitor exceeds Newt’s margin over him in South Carolina (12.6 points) and may well exceed his own margin over Ron Paul in New Hampshire (16.4 points).
That said, he still needs to reach out to his opponents’ supporters. He would be wise tonight to invite Newt to sit down with him to talk sometime in the next month.
UPDATE: GOProud Congratulates Governor Mitt Romney on Big Win in Florida Primary
UP-UPDATE: Gay GOP Cheers Romney Win In Florida
UP-UPDATE: Doesn’t look like he’ll get a majority. Glad I didn’t bet on this race as I would have projected Romney to get 42%, Newt to get 30% and Santorum and Ron Paul to tie at 12. Seems I may only be right about Santorum.
If the states are laboratories for democracy, as Justice Louis D. Brandeis once wrote, then Americans in the forty-nine largest states should be grateful for California. Since Jerry Brown first became governor (in 1975, not 2011), the (once-)Golden State has often shown us what policies don’t work.
The state is running out of money:
California will run out of cash by early March if the state does not take swift action to find $3.3 billion through payment delays and borrowing, according to a letter state Controller John Chiang sent to state lawmakers today.
The announcement is surprising since lawmakers previously believed the state had enough cash to last through the fiscal year that ends in June.
But Chiang said additional cash management solutions are needed because state tax revenues are $2.6 billion less than what Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers assumed in their optimistic budget last year. Meanwhile, Chiang said, the state is spending $2.6 billion more than state leaders planned on.
The once-and-current governor is a Democrats as are both house of the state legislature.
(H/t: The Gateway Pundit.)
If the returns tonight show what the exit polls indicate, Mitt Romney will muster a near-majority in the Florida primary. He may win by a bigger margin over Newt Gingrich in the Sunshine State than that by which the Pennsylvania native bested him in South Carolina.
Should Romney do well, he would be advised not to gloat, but instead to commend his rivals for running spirited campaigns, praising them for the positive proposals they have put forward. In short, he should be magnanimous. He will need the support of his rivals’ supporters if he is to defeat Obama in the fall.
He can learn something from each of his three remaining rivals. Newt has shown has to rally the conservative faithful — and when he’s not whining — demonstrated how to articulate the unifying conservative principles which have (ostensibly) guided our party these past three decades. Rick Santorum has been tenacious in the face of low poll numbers and pleas for him to exit the race. In understanding Ron Paul’s appeal, Romney can appreciate the power of the ideal of liberty and adherence to constitutional principles — not to mention the concerns the Texas Congressman has articulated about the Federal Reserve.
In short, tonight while Mitt Romney savors his victory, he must remember his rivals. He needs their support to unite the GOP and defeat a president out of step with the American electorate.
Williams McGurn nailed it in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:
That’s because at bottom the Newt insurgency is fueled by the sense that Mr. Romney’s tepid policy agenda reflects no fixed beliefs. Many who support Mr. Gingrich will concede he is not their ideal candidate. In fact, it’s telling that Mr. Romney’s GOP rivals are defined as non-Romneys, each standing for something lacking in the front-runner.
The most constructive way for Mr. Romney to kill off his rivals while bringing the party together is simple: Steal their best ideas. Mr. Gingrich has done precisely that with Ron Paul by calling for a commission to study the gold standard. Mr. Romney could easily do the same, echoing Mr. Paul’s call for an honest dollar or adopting Mr. Gingrich’s flat tax.
Emphasis added. Read the whole thing.
The once-and-current Republican frontrunner would be wise to heed McGurn’s advice. Perhaps tonight, should he win the Florida primary, Romney could show magnanimity in victory and acknowledge the appeal of his Republican rivals.
Federal budget deficit to stand at $1.1 trillion:
A new budget report released Tuesday predicts the government will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in the fiscal year that ends in September, a slight dip from last year but still very high by any measure.
Now, will someone in the legacy media please ask President Obama what his plans are to lower the deficit? And follow up when he talks about raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires as such hikes will barely dent the deficit?