I have to say: If I were running Mitt Romney’s campaign, I’d much prefer reporters going on today about a mini-flap involving one of Mitt’s sons going birther and then apologizing than have them reporting on the Santorum surge.

For that matter, I’d rather have the press busy with a mini-flap involving one of Mitt’s sons going birther than have them reporting on Newt (or Bachmann) tanking. I don’t think it matters a lot whether Romney finishes first or second or even third in Iowa (as I argued this morning), but given that he’d rather finish first, the best way for him to accomplish that is still to hope that Santorum, Newt, Bachmann, and Perry wind up in a muddled mess, splitting any anti-Romney vote that’s out there. So the less that conservatives have a clear sense of the information needed for good strategic voting, the better for Romney.

Not to mention that, while in the long run (or perhaps even by Tuesday) this particular incident will be long forgotten, it still can’t hurt Romney with Tea Partiers to hint that his camp is on the same page with them culturally.

Of course, I’m not hinting, nor am I voicing any suspicion, that the Romney camp would actually do something like this on purpose.