“Things, strange things, are happening to me,” Mitt Romney told folks in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Thursday evening. Hanging out with his personal aide, Mississippi native Garrett Jackson, as he stumps through the Deep South is “turning me into, I don’t know, an unofficial Southerner,” he said. This morning, to underscore this unlikely transformation, Romney began a town-hall meeting at the Mississippi Farmer’s Market with a chirpy “Mornin’ y’all,” and then proclaimed, “I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. I’ll tell you! Delicious.” Soon, as he discoursed on the administrative costs of health care, Romney was joining in another local pastime: squashing a cockroach. “Oh look at that, look at that little guy,” he said, providing a play-by-play. “There. Got him.” The Mississippians seemed a bit unsure about how to react to all this. But they could be no more befuddled than the national political pundits, who’ve assumed that Romney couldn’t possibly win Alabama and Mississippi next Tuesday—though the polls now indicate that he very well might. Rasmussen shows Romneyleading Mississippi by eight points over Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, while the three are locked in a dead heat next door in Alabama. With Santorum and Gingrich furiously trying to elbow each other out of the race, and with the Restore our Future super PAC pouring nearly $1 million into the two states, Romney could conceivably hee-haw his way to victories that nobody saw coming.
So They Say
"I like to see a man when he's holding a baby. And he looks like he's held a baby before."
—Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, explaining why he endorsed Romney
Daily Meme: Mitt Romney Can Relate
- He likes Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- He loves cars.
- He relishes a varmint-hunt.
- He knows NASCAR (owners).
- He loves corporations, who are people too.
- He digs the music the kids are into.
- He’s known the anxiety of a possible pink slip.
- He’s “also unemployed.”
What We're Writing
- Will Rick Santorum be the GOP frontrunner in 2016? Patrick Caldwell is skeptical.
- Clare Malone reviews Game Change and revisits John McCain’s “oops” moment.
What We're Reading
- Santorum criticizes JFK’s “separation” speech again.
- Chris Christie calls a constituent an “idiot.”
- The New Yorker: “What Presidents Talk About When They Talk About Dogs.”
- Jonathan Chait: Obama's chances look good … for now.
- Republicans aren't just meh on Romney. They're meh on Santorum, too.
- For Gingrich and Santorum, the race must go on.
Poll of the Day
Fifty-two percent of Maryland residents support the state’s new same-sex marriage law,
while 54 percent back marriage equality in Maine, which could become the first state to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote in November.