The former Massachusetts governor has survived challenge after challenge. Will slow and steady win the 2012 race?
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. -- In a presidential nominating contest dominated by shooting stars who burn bright but briefly, it may be the most consistent, if less thrilling, Mitt Romney who proves most resilient.
Former pizza company executive Herman Cain performed well in an early debate and ascended to double digits in some national polls. Rep. Michele Bachmann won the summer, and the Iowa straw poll, but faded as questions about her ability to beat President Obama loomed. Now, six weeks after he began his bid, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is stumbling, both in a debate this week and in a Florida straw poll for which he campaigned overtly.
Whose Global Economy Is It, Anyway?
A Congress Gone Mad
Troops Leaving Iraq, but U.S. Presence There Just Ramping Up
If they are the political hares, Mitt Romney's tortoise seems to be catching up Romney began the campaign as the odds-on front-runner, the most experienced candidate in a weak field and the contender best able to put together both an experienced team and a robust bank account. But questions over health care reform he signed into law in Massachusetts have lurked like a stalking cat, and the media has been more interested in newcomers. That made Romney's lead look shaky, destined to come tumbling down the moment an anti-Romney candidate coalesced his rivals.
That moment has seemed to come several times -- when Cain vaulted up the polls, when former candidate Tim Pawlenty debuted the phrase "ObamneyCare" in a Fox News interview, when Bachmann overtook Pawlenty as Romney's most threatening foe, and virtually the moment Perry stepped onto the scene.
And yet, after all those threats, Romney has proven that those arrayed against him have not decided on a single candidate around whom to unite.