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Posted at 08:11 AM ET, 01/30/2012

Gingrich’s lack of planning shows

A big reason Newt Gingrich is doing poorly in Florida is because he never planned on being a contender there in the first place. Initially, he and the Mrs. were on a campaign season book tour that got out of control.

Months ago, when he was asked about a lack of fundraising and overall political organization, he dismissed the question as an indication of someone who didn’t understand the new order of American politics. Baloney. Either he never planned on being in a position to make a serious effort in Florida or he is a terrible manager who didn’t know how to plan ahead.

If all is going according to his new order method of winning the GOP nomination, why doesn’t Newt have a campaign in Florida or anywhere else following the primary calendar? He didn’t get on the ballot in Virginia because he didn’t think he would be in the race. His supporters have every right to feel like they were never part of a plan.

You can tell Mitt Romney had a plan. He has been organizing for a year and it has paid off. Florida may be remembered as his firewall.

Newt had a perfectly timed single injection of political steroids — money. It boosted him in South Carolina, but there wasn’t another dosage big enough or quick enough to save him in Florida. As Sally Bradshaw, Florida’s foremost political manger, reminds me, Florida has 10 major media markets, 4 million Republican voters and a substantial Hispanic bloc. In other words, you need a real campaign to be successful.

In the last few days, Gingrich has been reduced to spending his time flailing around, trying to sell himself as a victim. And he is not credible or appealing playing the part of a victim of political bullying.

Meanwhile, Romney looks happy and unruffled. Unhelpful tax returns, reminders of Romneycare and double-teaming by Rick Santorum and Gingrich were all trumped by a well-planned, well-executed campaign. And when Romney had to do his part as a candidate, he elevated his game at the last Florida debate. We are witnessing another example of Romney running a good campaign. It’s not over, but Romney doesn’t want to trade places with any other candidate.

By  |  08:11 AM ET, 01/30/2012

 
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