Mitt Romney gets the Washington Examiner editorial board’s nod. “Romney has the misfortune of being an earnest man running in an ironic time, and the leitmotif of the Republican race so far has been the search for the ‘anti-Romney.’ Party activists reached out to several men who declined to run, and then Republican voters lavished their affections on, successively, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and now Newt Gingrich. . . . We believe this candidate has been hiding in plain sight. Mitt Romney is not ‘too perfect,’ as some political analysts have argued, but he is perfect enough.” But mostly the endorsement is a powerful indictment of Newt Gingrich.

Quin Hillyer gets queasy about Gingrich’s crush on FDR. “Not just an effective political leader, but THE greatest president of the 20th Century. So says (and says and says and says again) Newton Leroy Gingrich about the father of the confiscatory income tax, the author of multiple unconstitutional infringements of our liberties, and the man who attempted packing the Supreme Court.” Read the whole thing.

Philip Klein gets nervous Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) might be the beneficiary of the not Gingrich, not Romney vote. “[T]he reality is that on numerous occasions, Paul has crossed the line from merely saying America should stay out of all conflicts, to actively attacking Israel and taking the Palestinians’ side — even when the non-interventionists should theoretically remain silent. . . . If Paul won Iowa, his elevated status, at a minimum, would give more credibility to his foreign policy views. It could also allow global propaganda outlets to boast that a leading contender for the U.S. presidency thinks Gaza is a ‘concentration camp,’ and argued that the raid that killed Osama bin Laden violated international law. And that’s just for starters.” The upside is that it could finally doom Iowa’s advantage as the first primary election contest.

La. Gov. Bobby Jindal gets some traction as a deus ex machina. “If the eventual GOP nominee is a late entrant or nominated at a brokered convention (Nate Silver [of the New York Times] writes there’s a ‘small but nontrivial chance’ that could happen), it would need to be someone who unites the entire Republican party. Bobby Jindal certainly fits the bill. Who else?” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeb Bush, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and many more.

Romney gets to the heart of the matter. “Zany is great in a campaign. It’s great on talk radio. It’s great in print, it makes for fun reading. . . . But in terms of a president, we need a leader, and a leader needs to be someone who can bring Americans together.” And using “zany” is quintessential Romney — he’s a little old fashioned and he could have chosen a much harsher word.

The White House gets cold feet. “The White House backed down from its veto threat of the Defense authorization bill Wednesday, saying that the bill’s updated language would not constrain the Obama administration’s counterterrorism efforts. While the White House acknowledged it still has some concerns, Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president’s advisors wouldn’t recommend a veto, a threat that had been hanging over the Pentagon policy bill the past month.” Really, doesn’t he always cave?

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), who suffered through the Gingrich speakership years, gets his point across: “I am not sure he’s as conservative as some people think he is, but Newt is a conservative.”

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America gets her licks in as well. “People have to ask themselves: ‘Which Newt do I believe is the real Newt? Is it the one I’m seeing now that is repentant and thoughtful and open to the criticism of others and willing to listen? Or is it the old Newt, the one who was arrogant and made horrible choices?’”