We’re at the point in the GOP nomination race that is similar to the scene in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers when King Theoden says “So it begins.”
In other words, the attacks on Mitt Romney are starting.
First Read: “Unlike past presidential-primary front-runners, Mitt Romney has enjoyed this advantage over the past year: His GOP rivals have largely attacked each other, and have left him alone. Just last week in the lead up to Iowa, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann were blasting Rick Santorum; Perry also went after Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Santorum for their previous service in Congress; and Jon Huntsman hit Paul over those racially charged newsletters — all leaving Romney unscathed… But after Romney’s narrow win in Iowa, and now that Gingrich is looking for revenge, Romney has now become the target of attacks for the first time this campaign season. In fact, the Gingrich camp is now up with this TV ad hitting Romney in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The question becomes: How does Romney handle it?”
In the face of these attacks, Walter Shapiro asks, ‘Is Romney beatable’: “My instincts, which are far from infallible, tell me that Romney can be beaten. The complication is that I do not see how any of the candidates running against him (with the possible exception of Santorum) can pull it off.”