Upset in South Carolina

Well, this race is starting to get interesting. Just when we thought Mitt Romney would cruise his way to a coronation, Newt Gingrich manages to pull off a victory in South Carolina. Here are the results according to Google. It wasn’t a narrow victory for Gingrich but a rout for Romney as Gingrich took 40% of the vote to Romney’s 28%. Santorum was third with 17% and Ron Paul was fourth with 13%. There is going to be a lot of pressure on Santorum now to quit and endorse Gingrich. I don’t think he can go much farther and Gingrich’s best chance now is to be the only not-Romney candidate standing. Romney is still ahead in Florida but the primary there isn’t until the 31st so things could change.

At this point, I don’t really have a preference between the two men. I don’t care for Romney. He doesn’t seem to stand for anything. On the other hand, I have doubts about Gingrich’s ability to lead. He seems too volatile, too mercurial. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I actually think that Gingrich is the more electable of the two. He seems to be more of a fighter, and a fighter is what we will need to defeat Obama. I don’t doubt that he will be able to beat Obama in any debate.

Romney seems to have more relevant experience. He was the governor of Massachusetts. I generally prefer governors as presidents because of the executive experience. His career in business and as director of the 2002 Olympic Winter games suggest that he has an ability to turn troubled organizations around. This is surely a talent that the next president will badly need. On the other hand, Romney is a manager. We need a leader. That is, someone who can inspire the American people to do the things we need to turn the country around. Romney is not that man. Gingrich may be, if his ego doesn’t get in his way.