My man on the ground in SC – UPDATE

I have a largely apolitical friend (he voted for Obama, last election, and this year says he’ll vote for anyone-but) currently in South Carolina, on business, and apparently he was staying at the same hotel as Romney. He called this morning to say, “I had a brush with fame!”

Enjoying an after-dinner cocktail, or something, he heard a buzz, looked around and saw Mitt Romney walking through with his wife at about 10:30 pm.

“I waved and he waved back!”

“Why didn’t you go over, shake his hand, ask a question,” I asked.

“Nah. I did see two people ask him to pose for pics and he declined.”

“Well,” I said, “kind of late at night, no doubt he’s exhausted. At some point you have to be able to turn it off.”

“Yeah, but you’d thing with things as tight as they are, he’d pull out all the stops,” my friend said.

You’d think so, but I’d give the guy a break. I can’t imagine how taxing the campaign trail must be, and these candidates have been at it for a long time, non-stop. Where is the breaking point? I wonder, if one hasn’t got a chance to rest sufficiently, what that does over the long term, to the psyche. One of the things that’s impressed me about Romney is that he’s managed to keep an even tone. Some call that robotic and slick. It may just be his way.

Anyway, my friend said that at 6:30 in the morning, Romney was in the hotel’s gym, on the treadmill, earbuds in place.

That’s discipline!

Meanwhile, speaking of strain and temperatment, a few commenters have taken me to task for saying that in debate Rick Santorum often comes across, at least to me, as snippy, angry, uptight and so forth.

Hey, I can’t help how someone comes across to me; according to Santorum, himself, his wife is seeing it too!.

Mr. Santorum talked about the stress of the campaign trail and told the audience of the strain that it can put on his wife and children . . . He also told the crowd that his wife, Karen, says he can come across as angry when he speaks publicly.

“I tend to be a little passionate – and sometimes that passion comes across as anger or intensity,” he said. “Pray for me that I chill,” he said, drawing laughter.

Some people are just not wired for “chill” but if he can do it, it might help him, I think. If he ends up being the GOP nominee, he’s going to be debating a “chill” master. He can’t come off like a guy who is holding back his inner Thor.

UPDATE: Warren Buffet, Romney and Chicago Dirty Tricks

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jen

    Did you see the Santorums on Piers Morgan last night? It was a great hour. It really let Rick shine, I thought, and showed a much better picture of who he is. The whole family was impressive.

    (I’m not “taking you to task” by the way! Just trying to rally support for the only candidate I think is worth voting for! I believe he’s the genuine article; and the man we need in this hour.)

    [No, missed it, Jen. I rarely watch tv. -admin]

  • Greg

    I believe Santorem needs to chill, be more like Obama, cool and calm. Now I realize Santorem is a pro-life catholic and Obama supports abortion (even after birth), but Obama is so cool and calm, thats what we need in a president.

    [Some would argue that perhaps Obama is too calm; he almost seems detached-unto-indifference -admin]

  • SKay

    Thank you for the Update Anchoress

    Instapundit’s link to this story makes you wonder how low the Dem’s will go.
    On second thought – with Axelrod running things from Chicago–I think we know.

  • EBL

    I have a feeling voters in South Carolina are not going to be swayed by old news about Newt Gingrich’s personal failings. I have problems with Newt’s past with women too, but it involves him endorsing Dede Scozzafava over conservative Doug Hoffman and cuddling with Nancy Pelosi on a couch over global warming.

  • Doc

    Sorry, but Obama is hardly the “chill master”. The guy got snippy with a couple of polite questions from Fox News. If this president got a fraction of the press scrutiny of any of his predecessors, he’d crack like an eggshell. Of course he knows that his Pravda Media are his Palace Guard, so he can appear to be the chill master. He just hopes the rubes continue to buy it.

  • Manny

    I’ve come to the conclusion that a Romney/Santorum ticket would be the best we Republicans could do if we couldn’t get Rubio on the ticket. All I know is that Newt Gingrinch is a diaster for Republicans. First of all angry republicans don’t do well with the general population. Plus Newt has more baggage than an airport. If Republicans are going to blow their brains out and ignore the baggage, the general electorate will not. Just look up the favorables/unfavorables.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    I think, Manny, that Newt can handle it. Baggage and all. Newt is saying what we’ve been thinking and he has a spine. I think we need a fighter who is quick on his feet. Newt may be our best chance at defeating Obama and his cronies but…time will tell. A lot of prayer is needed. A lot.

  • Manny

    Sue, you represent what the typical conservative wants: they want a candidate that can beat up Obama, not one that can beat Obama. Fighting Obama is irrelevant. Winning the election is what counts.

  • Greta

    Just finished watching Newt in his winning speech where he trounced Romney. Santorum barely beat Ron Paul who has zero chance of getting the nomination. Newt clearly laid out the path to victory to get the nomination and to take on Obama. I also think he has a winner with his pointing out that Obama has the elite MSM on his side in trying to remake America inso some type of European socialist state.

    Note that one of the first things he will challenge Obama and the elite media on is their war of religion in this country. With the Obama team again attacking Catholics on religious freedom, and every other Christian religion feeling the government and media attacks over the last couple decades, this is a winner.

    He also is going to hit on being self sufficient on energy and with gas prices expected to hit $4.00 a gallon this summer, it is a huge winner. Obama again shot himself on this issue with stopping the Keystone pipeline for his friends in San Francisco.

    As to the unfavorable ratings with the polls on Newt, I think you have about as big a dislike of Newt on those tied to the left as you do on Obama to those on the right. National polls are not really that critical because in some states such as California and New York, the population of liberals is huge. But we do not elect on those numbers. It could be 10,000 to one against Newt in those states and it does not matter any more than if he lost by ten votes. It is the electoral college votes that matter and in enought states, you have people fired up and really angry about Obama. The only way you lose them is by having a McRino or Dole type running that will leave many of them at home. Newt will fire them up big time and get them out to the polls. Winning elections is all about energy and Romney is not even able to win his own party.

    I also think Newt knows how the government works and can do much more on day one than Romney. After tonight, our family sent maximum donations per family member to Newt and signed up to work for him as well here in Ohio, a critical state. Santorum is a nice guy, but if he leaves someone like Anchoress and many others queasy, he has no chance and it is showing in the last two states. He will also do poorly in Florida and run out of money. It is Newt or Romney. 20 plus years of solid pro life record versus someone who has switched by where he is running is someone to worry about.

  • Manny

    Greta, how come the overwhelming Republicans in office do not favor Newt? If Newt was so strong, why was he thrown out as Speaker by his own party? He may talk a good game, but the man is dysfunctional.

  • Klaire

    Doc I agree that Obama is only a chill master when no one is rocking his boat. That certainly will NOT be the case if Newt gets his chance at him.

    I was thrilled to see Romeny lose. I believe much of it is because, just like the MSM, the Repubican Establishment takes us for stupid. I know I certainly resented being “told” who the crown would be going to after SC. Never mind the other 47 states. Well, not so fast!

    I’m fine with Newt or Santorum; could make a case for either but in my heart of hearts, I truly love Santorum. What a role model that family would be in the white house, especially in when faith, marriage and family, have been so debased. I’ve been reading more and more articles from journalists who, despite being in total disagreement with his views, truly find him to be a remarkable person, of real character. Indeed his family and wife Karen are simply lovely. Karen would be an awesome first lady.

    Anyone can go to CNN’s videos and see some of the clips of the Piers Morgan’s interview, including when he asked him the “hypothetical rape” quesiton about his daughter.

    Say what you will about Santoruom, but he’s a good man, and may well be the only one in our lifetime to have the guts to run on social issues. I still haven’t ruled him out. If he could win, he would certainly be my choice.

    As for Newt, watch now what the “establishment” will do to him since he messed up Romney’s coronation. Newt or Santorum are waaaaaay to “non-establishement” and conservative (Santorum more than Newt), for the GOP to accept. I heard a GOP strategist recently say they hate Newt mostly because they can’t control him. he even predicted that they will replace him.

    One thing for sure, this race isn’t over, and I doubt the suprises aren’t either!

    Lastly, I still believe this race is now as much about being against the big boys of the MSM and GOP as it is against Obama. As strange as it may be, I believe the presidency can be won simply with an anti MSM campagin. On that note, no one like Newt to say what most of us never get to.

    At the very least, I’d live to see Santorum as Sec of State.

  • Klaire

    One more thing I wanted to say about Santorum. As a Catholic, Rick already won. I only recently found out that he is an Opus Dei Member. Factor that with a wife who has no problem telling the MSM that while Rick speaks, she’s praying (for the Holy Spirit to speak through him). I’m sure that fact must rattle some non-religous folks pretty hard, screaming “theocracy or nut case”, but that’s the point, the Santorums are the real deal down to their faith; no pretense.

    As Mother Theresa often used to say: “We don’t have to be successful, only faithful.” I don’t think I’ve seen a politician walk the faith like this since Henry Hyde.

  • Katherine

    Off topic, but can we please have a Kitty update? You and your family were on my mind, and in my prayers this morning.

  • Greta

    Manny, My understanding of why Newt decided to resign was becasue his prediction of more seats in the 1998 election did not happen based on his strategy. He felt it was time to move on. Remember, the story on all the charges the democrats brought against Newt were all dismissed so he was not forced out, but as part of the agreement to end this circus, agreed to pay 300,000 in costs the committe had gone through. My representative now is Boehner and his comments to me was that there was a lot of arguments going on within the house about which direction the republican party should go moving forward with many wanting a less confrontational apporach leading up to 2000. Newt did not agree with this apporach. He was also going through some things on a personal basis. Note that there is still a division in the party with those more RINO in approach and those who are closer to the tea party. Boehner is often in the middle trying to get some legislation out and frankly often has both sides against him as did Newt. Also, Newt pushed the issue of the type person Clinton was as something that could be utilized in the 98 election based on the ongoing push by womens groups against sexual harrassment. The left could never understand the difference pushing the lie that for anyone to push an issue such as Clinton being a serial sexual harrassment person in his entire career, that this meant that anyone who talked about it had to be pure. The media and womens groups carried Clintons battle for him ending the movement on sexual harrassment and the media made it a purity argument partnering with Larry flynt of Huslter porn magazine to seek out anything they could find on Republicans with millions of dollar reward. It got messy for everyone close to the sleazy clintons. Even when Clinton lied under oath in the paula Jones sexual harrassment suit, the media and the left did not care. They wanted to make it he lied about sex, which was a lie, but about sexual harrassment and the questions were trying to determine if Clinton did this to other women which you would think the media would want to know as sexual harrassment had been “the” cause all over the country since Clarence Thomas hearings. If Clinton was having a JFK type of fling, that was a private matter. If someone was committing a crime as detailed by the left call for sexual harrassment that was a public issue and if he lied under oath as President, it should have also been an issue.

    You have to see the entire time frame and what was going on and the struggle everyone was having in trying to handle the mess Clinton laid on the people and both parties.

  • EBL
  • Manny

    Greta, that’s Newt’s story. Yes they lost seats and were going to be further wiped out, and the primary reason was Newt’s leadership: erratic, self centered, angry, disorganized. I can sum up Newt’s career and life in one word: dysfunctional. Having Newt in the White House will be another soap opera. I’m tired of soap operas in our government.

    Plus, you can’t just overlook his wives problem. If we conservatives rail against the Frenchification of our culture, then we have no more argument to make if we support Newt. Democrats to their everlasting shame dismissed Clinton. I don’t intend to dismiss Republicans who have such a history. No conservative will ever have the moral standing to argue cultural issues if they support Newt. I’m not going to sell my soul to the guy who has one skill, debating.

  • Manny

    And one more thing. Newt is no real conservative. Anyone that undermines Paul Ryan’s plan or sits on the couch with Nancy Pelosi to support climate change is a phoney. He’s using the conservative movement like he uses his wives. He’s a user.