1.  On Jon Huntsman:  If Ramesh Ponnuru is right and that Huntsman’s tax plan adds up to a tax increase on middle-class families with children then I think his candidacy is fatally flawed.  I just don’t see how you sell middle-class tax increase + high earner tax cut + son of a billionaire in a general election.  I’m not even sure how you sell it in a Republican primary once people focus on the distributional impact of his tax policy (though that day may never come.)  This all assumes that the analysis of the distributional impact is right.  It is of course not fair.  Huntsman didn’t pick his parents and he seems like decent enough guy. 

2.  I’m not sure what happens when (if? - but I think when) the air comes out of the Gingrich balloon.  Maybe someone else gets hot as a result of a debate performance and emerges as the new dominant non-Romney.  That seems to be the pattern so far.  Or maybe Gingrich’s support slips to the mid-teens and his lost supporters go in a bunch of different directions (including a few electability-oriented Gingrich supporters to Romney.)  You could have a field with five or six real players all wounded in their own way and a Ron Paul win in Iowa becomes very, very plausible.

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Articles by Pete Spiliakos

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