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A few days ago the Washington Post ran a story reiterating a cruel truth (previously noted in this space): But for his big offensive mouth, George Allen might well be the GOP nominee right now.

But last night a friend asked an even better question: What if Newt had run?

I'm not sure where Newt could have broken through. I doubt Iowa social conservatives would have chosen him over Huck. And while Newt's candid style probably plays well in New Hampshire, that really was McCain's home court. But South Carolina and Florida might have been friendly enough to the Georgian to knock out Romney and get a  head-to-head with McCain, either on Super Tuesday or right now.

Too clever by half?

P.S. It appears that Newt is now on the McCain bandwagon, if tepidly so. 

--Michael Crowley