REPUBLICAN SPLIT DECISION
WALL STREET JOURNAL
If Republican poohbahs were hoping that Super Tuesday's 10 contests would settle the Republican primary contest, they woke up Wednesday disappointed. While Mitt Romney had a good night and stretched his lead among delegates, Rick Santorum did well enough to more than justify staying in the race. ... Republican elites are aching to declare this race over and take aim at Mr. Obama. The fear is that the intraparty debate is hurting the GOP brand and the image of the candidates. ... November is a long way off and the American public hasn't concluded that Mr. Obama deserves another term. The hand-wringing is fruitless in any case. The voters are in charge and their split decision shows that Republicans still haven't settled on a standard-bearer.
DEAR MITT: SOME CAMPAIGN ADVICE
BY KATHLEEN PARKER
No one in this country thinks you’re a cool, with-it kind of guy — and they’re fine with that. They don’t want you to be cool. They want you to fix the economy. They want you to be serious, presidential and the grown-up you are. There’s no predicting what will happen in November. But if you go down, enjoy the ride by being fearlessly yourself — uncool, unafraid, intelligent, experienced, determined and, as you put it, resolute. Be as liberated in seeking victory as you would be in defeat. This includes being outraged at the outrageous, willing to tell unpleasant truths, temperate in matters grave (steering you away from statements such as Iran will have nukes if Obama wins) and being willing to lose. True Mitt can win.
NEW YORK TIMES
Republican politicians have pursued their assault on Mr. Obama, the left and any American who disagrees with them for years now. There are finally signs that they may pay a price for the casual cruelty with which they attack whole segments of society. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican of Alaska, said on Tuesday that the Republicans have left people thinking they are at war with women. Women are right to think that. ... Among Democrats, 49 percent said watching the primaries have made them more likely to vote for Mr. Obama. That is up from 36 percent in December, which shows that Mr. Obama has risen as the Republicans have fallen. But the president, who can be frustratingly inert at times, still has a long way to go.
LIZ CHENEY: DESIST!
BY MAUREEN DOWD
NEW YORK TIMES
At Aipac, Liz Cheney urged that we put ourselves in Israeli hands because “America’s track record on predicting when nations reach nuclear capability is abysmal.” She’s right about that, given her father’s wildly erroneous assertions about W.M.D.s in Iraq. ... Let’s get back to pre-emptive wars! ... The campaign sugar daddy of Newt Gingrich (and soon, Romney) is Sheldon Adelson, a multibillionaire casino owner and hawkish Zionist who endorses Gingrich’s view that the Palestinians are “an invented people” who have no historic claim to a homeland. Gingrich told Aipac that “if an Israeli prime minister decides that he has to avoid the threat of a second Holocaust through pre-emptive measures, that I would require no advanced notice to understand why I would support the right of Israel to survive in a dangerous world.”
ISRAEL'S BEST FRIEND
BY THOMAS FRIEDMAN
NEW YORK TIMES
I’d invite all those cheering to think about all the unintended and unanticipated consequences of the Iraq war or Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. ... It’s a reason to heed Obama’s call to give diplomacy and biting sanctions a chance to work, while keeping the threat of force on the table. If it comes to war, let it be because the ayatollahs were ready to sacrifice their whole economy to get a nuke and, therefore, America — the only country that can truly take down Iran’s nuclear program — had to act to protect the global system, not just Israel. I respect that this is a deadly serious issue for Israel — which has the right to act on its own — but President Obama has built a solid strategic and political case for letting America take the lead.
WAS IT A BIG ENOUGH NIGHT FOR ROMNEY?
BY E.J. DIONNE
It’s inescapable that Romney keeps winning the big ones. He wins ugly, he wins close, but he wins. He is also piling up delegates. Because those Ohio counties reported so late, he didn’t get full credit for that this evening. More than is usually the case, the impact of this Super Tuesday will depend a great deal on spin. Over the next couple of days, Romney has to win the interpretation wars. Voters, not pundits, should decide elections. But for a brief moment, the pundits, the consultants and the spin doctors will have more influence than usual - and, truth be told, more than they should.
LASTING DAMAGE FOR ROMNEY
BY RUTH MARCUS
[T]he Republican primary — unlike the Democratic contest in 2008 — has pushed the all-but-certain nominee further to the ideological edge. ... During the course of the campaign, Romney has ramped up his rhetoric on issue after issue, from immigration to taxes to contraception, in ways that threaten to undermine his chances in the general election. Instead of positioning himself to exploit Obama’s weakness among white, working-class voters, Romney has railed against union bosses, denounced the auto bailout and made himself the candidate of Bain Capital, spouting unfortunate Richie Rich-isms. Romney could yet win. But as much as his campaign would like, there is no magic button.