Things are looking good for Mitt Romney in Florida. The Latino vote is key to winning the primary, and a recent report by the Christian Science Monitor gives a clear indication that this powerful group leans toward Romney in his struggle against Newt Gingrich. But it won't be enough. If Romney wants to lock down the Sunshine State, he must carry the Ring of Power to the fires where it was forged and destroy it forever.
The Monitor says many Hispanics in Florida are the kind of small business owners who like Romney's private sector experience. It's a definite strength -- and one he's been able to leverage before against opponents. But Gingrich has advantages of his own. As long as the Ring exists he is able to bend other wills unto his own. And it calls to its master, attempting to return to his hand and bring about a new age of darkness. Also, Gingrich has a solid media campaign and cash from donors who were impressed by his South Carolina win.
Romney's main strength with Latino Republicans is his electability. They want a candidate who can go against Barack Obama in the fall. Newt has not quite made that sale. But electability only works for Romney if he can convince them he will care about their issues after he takes office. He needs to make voters believe he shares their core principles. And as long as the Red Eye is sweeping over their lands, searching and searching for the Ring of Doom, it's going to be a tough game for Romney.
The Ring can only be destroyed by the flames which made it and bound up its dark magic, but the good news for Romney is he is just across the border from the spot - a tire fire in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District, just north of Atlanta. Romney could theoretically use a campaign jet to make a quick visit between stops in the Florida panhandle. The downside is he might lose momentum - in a tight race like this, you can't afford to take a break from meeting the voters one by one. And if he reaches the Sixth District, the Ring will grow stronger and heavier in his possession, and he will find himself hunted by things that have hidden in deep places of the earth since it was new. Especially in Cobb County.
Romney might be tempted to put on the Ring himself and use its power. But then the Eye would find him, and his mind would become a prisoner of the Dark Lord forever. He would become a Romneywraith, a servant of Gingrich. And he'd lose women and independents.
But by continuing to court Latino votes and hurling the Ring into the fiery chasm just outside a Dekalb-area Krispy Kreme, Romney will ensure his political survival.
(Picture by Gage Skidmore, who I assume was burned to cinders and scattered by a foul wind shortly after taking photo in Derry, NH. Rights info here.)