Michael Gaynor
PLEASE send Laura Ingraham roses, Governor Romney
By Michael Gaynor
January 27, 2012

The sooner the Republican circular firing squad stops shooting and the folks who know that Obama must be a one-term President rally behind Romney, the better.

Laura Ingraham's witty "Mitt teaches Crisis Management 101," posted after the final Florida presidential primary debate, complained that Mitt Romney is not "thrilling," but candidly acknowledged that Romney had easily won the debate and that Romney "shines" as a crisis manager and will do so again if Newt Gingrich yet again rises from the politically dead.


"Mitt Romney, who had his best debate performance on Thursday, should send two dozen long-stemmed roses (from 1800Flowers.com, of course), to Newt Gingrich today. Setting aside the fact that it was probably Gingrich's worst debate of the 930 we've seen thus far in this campaign, he has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to the former governor of Massachusetts. The claims about how 'destructive' the former Speaker's rise has been for the GOP, this has been just what Romney needed to allay the concerns of conservatives who wonder if he has enough passion and fight to take on Barack Obama (a.k.a. the Billion Dollar Baby). Many saw Romney as a likable Ward Cleaver-sort. Reassuring but not thrilling. They now see a cunning, relentless, and aggressive side to him that they've been waiting for.

"For most of this debate cycle, Romney performed ably, turning in workmanlike, but uninspiring, performances. This served him fine in Iowa and New Hampshire; but in South Carolina, where Newt Gingrich rose from the ashes (again), Romney's team found itself in crisis. Suddenly, the buzz was that the front-runner was a paper tiger — too meek and moderate to vanquish Newt, forget Barack. But how could anyone forget that crisis management is what Romney does best? The entire Romney operation is run like Salt Lake 2002. His team was prepared for the rise of Bachman, Cain, Perry and finally Newt. The response to Newt's second coming in South Carolina was flawlessly orchestrated. Mitt hit hard at Monday's debate, and did a mop-up operation on Thursday night. He marshaled the help of boosters and aggressive defenders in media and politics. When Tom DeLay emerged from forced retirement and Bob Dole from convalescence to lay waste to Gingrich, you know it was a coordinated hit Godfather fans should recognize. Gingrich was caught in a revolving door, bullets flying, with nowhere to go. Will there be a third life for Gingrich? We'll see. But if so, Romney will hop back into crisis management mode again, which is where he shines.'"

In 2008 Ingraham seemed "thrilled" by Romney as a presidential candidate. She enthusiastically endorsed him as a true conservative who had learned over time and even described him as the "the conservative's conservative" and "a class act" when she introduced him at CPAC 2008. Her praise of Romney was unstinting. She not only assured all that Romney was proud to be a conservative, but that he "embodies conservative ideals." She lauded him as a national security conservative, a social conservative and a fiscal conservative and for "selflessness" and "exhibit[ing] on a daily basis sacrificial concerns."

The truth is that Ingraham was right then and Romney is no less conservative now than he was in 2008. His conversion to conservatism was real.

Alas, Romney apparently did not give Ingraham a head's up that he was withdrawing from the race before she introduced him and during this presidential election cycle she's been searching (unsuccessfully)for someone better, so eagerly that a caller to her national radio show recently referred to Gingrich as Ingraham's boyfriend.

I doubt that it would help for Romney to send "two dozen long-stemmed roses (from 1800Flowers.com, of course)" to Gingrich, but perhaps he should send them 9or even more) to Ingraham with a sincere apology note for typical male thoughtlessness.

Reality check: It's too important for Romney to beat Obama for him not to do so.

The sooner the Republican circular firing squad stops shooting and the folks who know that Obama must be a one-term President rally behind Romney, the better.

PS Make sure those roses come from 1800Flowers.com. (It's an Ingraham sponsor.)

© Michael Gaynor


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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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