As Daniel Henninger argues in a marvelous column in today's Wall Street Journal, over the next couple of months we'll witness a bloody, miserable heavyweight brawl--and that's a very good thing.
The Romney campaign may think their man is ready to compete against the president. They should watch the tape of the Saturday night "$10,000 bet" meltdown. In that brief, disastrous exchange over the Massachusetts health-insurance "mandate," a smirking, taunting Rick Perry showed why he won three governor's races. And Mitt buckled, as he had 10 days earlier when Fox's Bret Baier leaned on him about the mandate....
Newt Gingrich will either get Mitt Romney into shape for 2012, or he will take Mitt down in next year's primary contests before the former Massachusetts governor gets himself, and his party, in over his head.
And what if the man who was House speaker 13 years ago does defeat Mr. Romney? If somehow he steals the party's nomination, the Republican establishment—its leadership and its donor base—can blame themselves for failing to find one strong Republican willing to run against a vulnerable president.
For all the guff he is getting now from that same establishment, Mr. Gingrich is the one was willing to stand in and—altogether predictably—take it in the neck over everything from spending at Tiffany to his often antic speakership. The top-tier candidates stayed home. They wouldn't do it. He did....
Newt Gingrich's flaws have been posited. Mitt Romney's inadequacies are known. It's time to put these two in a cage together so that one can emerge a fighter, ready to compete for the presidency.