Either way, after booting issues related to loot - including calling $370,000 made in speaking fees "not very much" - he has a shot at redemption tonight.
Something like: Here's what I made. It's a lot of money. I'm successful. I'd love to see more people be successful. I pay 15 percent because that's the law for interest income. If we want to change the law, I, as president, am willing to work with Congress.
The other thing Mitt can do is go all postal on Newt.
Or Romney's toadies, a/k/a "Super PACs" brought to you by a Supreme Court intent on ensuring that rich people and organizations are empowered to skew elections, will nuke Newt for him.
Speaking of Newt, his huge South Carolina win proves that stereotyping African-Americans by pandering to redneck reasoning, and attacking "the elite media," is a surefire path to success in the South.
Newt gets standing ovations for saying that poor minority kids should be janitors to develop a work ethic, for calling the nation's first black president the "food-stamp president" and for saying that the news media protect Obama and trash Republicans.
I'm betting we hear more of the same in the Sunshine State.
But Florida presents a different playing field from South Carolina.
First - and critically - it's huge, the fourth-largest state (South Carolina is 24th-largest) with 10 media markets and a $1 million to $2 million per-week cost for TV ads.
This should benefit Mitt.
But Newt-pal Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas casino owner (whose net worth, according to Forbes, is $21.5 billion) who pumped millions into South Carolina on Newt's behalf, can easily cover the cost of a week of anti-Mitt stuff.
Also, unlike South Carolina's, Florida's is a closed primary: Only Republicans vote. This should help Newt, especially in northern Florida abutting Georgia.
But, Florida is a vote-early state. Voting started this past Saturday. In addition, 185,000 Republicans already voted absentee.
The Florida primary is Jan. 31. Because Mitt holds big leads in the most-recent polls there, early voting should help him.
Then again, this race is marked by volatility, driven not by issues but by personalities.
"These candidates don't fundamentally disagree on much," says American University professor David Lublin, author of The Republican South: Democratization and Partisan Change.
Lublin says contenders want to reduce government and cut regulations. They oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and agree on many other hot issues. So the fight comes down to what Lublin calls "differentiation on personality."
And so it goes.
We have results from three primaries. For the first time, three Republicans won the first three contests: Faith-based conservative Rick Santorum won the God vote in Iowa; "Massachusetts moderate" Mitt won the neighborhood vote in New Hampshire; and former Georgian Newt won the first Southern vote.
After Florida, there are eight non-Southern contests, including in large states such as Arizona, Missouri and Michigan, before the race returns to the South. That's on Super Tuesday, March 6, which includes Georgia.
Could be a sweet homecoming for Newt if he can, you know, maintain.
That's unless, of course, Mitt finds a way to change.
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