Romney: New Hampshire or Bust

Iowa 2d place leaves Romney scrambling
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2008 9:45 AM CST
Mitt Romney greets caucus goers at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. His second place finish has left him scrambling for a do-or-die victory in the New Hampshire primary.(AP Photo/LM Otero)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mitt Romney has been left scrambling to find a way to restore momentum to his presidential campaign in the wake of a costly, humiliating defeat in Iowa, Time reports. Mike Huckabee's legions of evangelical Christians disrupted what Ana Marie Cox calls his "carefully calibrated strategy to conduct the political version of a leveraged buyout." And a surging John McCain will be a bigger threat than the man one of Mitt's supporters called incredulously "a country sleaze."

With Romney's massive spend in Iowa constituting a "kindling strategy"—designed to light a fire in the primaries to follow—the Washington Post's Michael Shear deems the battle ahead close to doomed: "The truth is that they are going to have to light a fire in New Hampshire with some very soggy wood."