If I were running the Mitt Romney campaign, I would release his tax returns Saturday night after the voting in South Carolina. Then I would issue a brief, limited statement from the candidate himself and supply a dry, stoic accountant to give limited details on background to the media. I would refer almost all subsequent questions to the accountant and back to the written statement. The tax return issue is causing a flat finish for Romney in South Carolina. And, his opponents are right — if there is a problem, GOP voters deserve to learn about it now. Better to deal with it while he is still in a primary fight than when he is trying to rally the discouraged voters who supported other candidates in the primaries.

The tax release issue is a serious problem. It will be managed, not solved, and how it is managed could be critical.

Florida will be probably be between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, with Ron Paul still in the race but operating in a parallel universe. Now it appears that unless Romney has a clear victory, Gingrich will be the last man standing in Florida, and he won’t go down quietly.

On another note, with Obama stopping the Keystone pipeline project, he has said “yes” to China having cheaper gasoline and “no” to the United States having cheaper gasoline. It’s impossible to take today’s headlines and extrapolate out to the next election. However, energy prices, especially gasoline prices, will be an issue in November. President Obama’s plan appears to be to hope for the best or hope that he somehow escapes blame for the bad policy that will contribute to what could very well be gasoline at more than $4 a gallon when voters go to the polls. It will be hard for him to escape the charge that he wants higher energy prices in order to manipulate American society’s behavior to his liking.