Last night the GOP held yet another debate. This was the first wherein Gingrich participated as the frontrunner, and it wasn’t so much that he won the debate as it was that Romney lost it. And he did so on one simple antic: he made a ten thousand dollar bet with Rick Perry over a point concerning national health care. I’m no fan of either, but I think the Romney campaign is about to experience an extended period of free fall.
Republicans are not pleased with Romney. And while there’s many reasons, there’s one overarching reason that seals his fate, particularly with the primary voters: they don’t like him. Mitt Romney, in many ways, just strikes me as that boss at the office that’s just tone deaf to everyone else, can’t handle a challenge to his authority, and is more concerned with shameless self-promotion than getting the job done. And for as flawed a candidate as Newt Gingrich is, he comes across as someone who genuinely likes politics, likes interacting with people and politicians, cutting deals, and the like. Romney does not. He comes across as one who views those interactions as an obstacle, something to be tolerated rather than reveled in.
And for that reason, that Romney yet again demonstrated that’s he so much different than the rest of us (a $10,000 bet on a whim, sure, why not?) does more to help Gingrich every time he opens his mouth, and comes off as prickly, frustrated and, in short, like your asshole boss.