David S. Bernstein, at the Boston Phoenix, has a helpful calendar of 2012 Willard-mania, during which “we in Massachusetts will be seeing more of him than we did when he was governor“:
JANUARY 3: IOWA CAUCUSES
After many months of acting like he wasn’t competing for the votes of the Iowa Evangelical conservatives who rejected him four years ago, Romney is now in it to win it. That change of plan has come either because A) he thinks he needs to stop Newt Gingrich from winning Iowa; B) he thinks he can win Iowa and wrap up the nomination early; or C) he thinks it would be embarrassing to lose any state to the pathetic field of candidates opposing him.
Tune in to see . . . whether Romney can project a clean, positive image despite his Super PAC spending millions on dirty negative ads in Iowa. If so, that will be his formula for the rest of the election cycle…
JANUARY 31: SUPER PAC REPORT DUE + FLORIDA PRIMARY
For reasons too complicated to get into here, the last day of January is the first time that the Romney-backing Restore Our Future “Super PAC” will disclose any of its contributors since June 30. That political-action committee, run by former Romney staffers, can take unlimited contributions— several million-dollar donors are already known.
It’s quite possible that, when the Restore Our Future report comes out, it will be revealed that a small number of extremely wealthy Wall Street titans have been spending fortunes to ensure Romney’s victory. That might not look so good — which might be one reason the Super PAC has maneuvered to push back its report date to January 31.
If the stars are aligned for Romney, he will have won that day’s Florida primary, and effectively clinched the nomination, before Restore Our Future hits “send” on its report at roughly 11:55 pm…