Democrats are already having a field day with Mitt Romney’s choice of the cavernous Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions football team, for his economic speech this afternoon. DNC spokesperson tweeted out a picture this morning of the creative advance work it takes to make sure this event looks like a sold-out Super Bowl instead of a sparsely attended high school game.
Even so, a football field is an apt metaphor for the GOP contest between Romney and Rick Santorum.
Romney is the epitome of the grind-it-out, running game kind of team. There’s nothing sexy about how he wins. There are no fancy plays in the Romney playbook. No flea flickers or special teams strategies. He wins in a three-yards-at-a-time kind of way. One Democratic strategist describes the Romney campaign strategy as a “soul crushing money train of death.” It isn’t always pretty or fun to watch. But, the Romney campaign will simply wear the other team down by sheer brute force. One. Yard. At. A. Time.
The Santorum campaign, meanwhile, is the team that wins on heart – and Hail Mary passes. Sure, they have a lot of turnovers, but one 50 yard catch on the sidelines can erase memories of pick-offs and missed opportunities. This is a team that has no set play list, but can throw the other team off simply by running the unexpected play.
For the last week, Santorum has been able to hold the Romney ground game at the line of scrimmage. But, today, Romney’s ground game looks it is making some progress.
The problem with running – and winning – on momentum is that it is very hard to run on adrenaline and heart for two weeks. Especially when the other guy is pounding on you relentlessly in TV ads in a debate.
The question for Santorum now: does he have one more dramatic play in him?