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Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 01/05/2012

A Republican failure on the day after Iowa

For the Republican candidate to win the presidency in 2012, the election must be about President Obama and his stewardship of the economy. Someone should tell Rick Santorum this and remind the rest of the field.

Yesterday was Santorum’s first day in the spotlight. He isn’t used to it. He had a mostly disastrous interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that seemed to dwell on something or another about sodomy. Granted, it’s hard to make a graceful exit from that topic to the economy during family hour on TV, but why did Santorum let it go there? The questions are only going to get harder.

Mitt Romney also had an awkward news day with a flat endorsement from Sen. John McCain that was meant to convey . . . something.

Gingrich declared war on Romney. Texas Gov. Rick Perry published a frightening picture of himself, in what his campaign claimed was jogging attire, and boldly announced he was sorta, kinda still in the race in South Carolina. And, as best I could tell, Ron Paul was still Ron Paul.

No candidate appeared to be ready for where they were yesterday. President Obama’s team is laughing at us.

It is fine that the GOP fight continues, and it is inevitable that we will fight among ourselves for a while. Romney still has work to do to deepen his support with conservatives, and Santorum must have a laser-like message so that his campaign doesn’t drift into the oblivion of defending everything he said or might have said in the last 35 or so years.

But again, in order for us to win, the Republican candidates have to remember every day that this race ultimately needs to be about Obama and the economy. If yesterday is any indication, we are off to a slow start.

P.S. I know this conflicts slightly with what I just said above, but with any cursory reading of the news, you will quickly learn that Kim Kardashian has a new hairdo and Sherlock Holmes may be called to duty regarding a murder that may have occurred on the grounds of one of Queen Elizabeth’s castles. But if you look closely enough, you’ll see media coverage that suggests we may be on the brink of war in the Persian Gulf. National security should mostly stop at the water’s edge, but this may be politically significant, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

By  |  09:30 AM ET, 01/05/2012

 
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