I'm looking for greatness tonight. I always am. Up here in New Hampshire, they've got the ability to say something today, really make a point.
I know what I would do. I'd vote for Huntsman. I'd do it to send a message to the polls in both parties. I'd do it to say that political moderation is not a crime, that there has to be a home for it in both parties. I'd do it to say that many smart, good, insightful Americans of good faith and values stand between the forty yard lines - a bit to the right, a bit to the left, and they need to have a champion - at least long enough to get the point across.
I think Huntsman delivered the one truly memorable statement of this entire campaign. He called out Romney for saying there was something wrong with him serving as American ambassador to China under president Obama. He said that was just the attitude that is causing all the division in this country. I think that line could well go down in history. It will certainly make the books written about this campaign.
I want New Hampshire to do what it does best - send a signal of gritty independence, to say that that conversation so far hasn't been sober enough, smart enough, realistic enough.
Romney may well win tonight. He's from around here, has a house here. But he's not a real New Englander. He flips about too much. He's not rooted in belief or passion. I once heard it said that a very great leader has three great qualities - all obvious to the voter.
Motive - we need to know what he or she stands for, why they're in public life.
Passion - we need to know what makes them care, what brings out their emotions, what drives them in their spirit.
Spontaneity - are the lights on? Is someone home? Can they react to the surprising statement or challenge or moment?
In none of these areas - motive, passion or spontaneity - do I find Mitt Romney's greatness. Perhaps, we will find it somewhere else as he leaves here tonight and heads south.
Perhaps. Perhaps not.