From Tocqueville (Wednesday PM):

Last night, Romney lifted this message directly from Rush Limbaugh's program yesterday, which I think was a GREAT move:

"Tonight is a victory for optimism over Washington-style pessimism. (applause) What we're going to see in the next few days is Democrats say that they're the party of change. (grumbling) You're going to hear Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, saying that they're the party of change, and I think they would bring change to America, just not the kind we want. You see, I think they take their inspiration from the Europe of old: big government, Big Brother, big taxes. They fundamentally in their hearts believe, that America is great because we have a great government -- and we do have a great government, but that's not what makes us the best nation, the strongest nation, the greatest nation on earth. What makes us such a great nation is the American people. I take my inspiration from Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush, who said we are a great and good people. It's exactly what we are, it's why we will always be the most powerful nation on earth."

A Waco Farmer:

I agree with Tocqueville. You have to admire Romney's game. He is smart enough to understand that he cannot win the nomination without bringing along Limbaugh (unlike Huck and McCain—who seem unwilling to accept this basic fact of life). Romney is positioning himself as an acceptable alternative to Huckabee and/or McCain. In my mind, this race comes down to a contest between Romney and Thompson. Rush is clearly for Thompson, and Thompson has his last last chance on Saturday night in South Carolina. But if Thompson cannot get traction, Limbaugh et al will have no choice but to support Romney to thwart either Huckabee or McCain, both of whom he detests.

Another note: I haven't heard as much impassioned yelling on Talk Radio in years. The conservative talkers are pulling out all the stops to stop Mac and Huck--and they will.

One last note: as the economy cools down (and heats up as an issue—what war in Iraq?), Romney and his optimism becomes increasingly attractive. He is authentically the no-nonsense, straight arrow whom we can trust to fix things.

The path to victory for Romney is suddenly wide open and well lit.