Napoleon is supposed to have said that the quality he most valued in his generals was luck. In the current race for the Republican presidential nomination, Napoleon's favorite would clearly be Mitt Romney.
Elections are contests held during a moment in time between candidates who have records stretching back, often far back, into the past. So there is always a tension between the man (or woman) who is running and the moment.
To win just under 40 percent of the vote in a primary with five active candidates is pretty impressive, even for a candidate like Mitt Romney, who started off with significant advantages in New Hampshire.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about Newt Gingrich, as he leads in polls for the Republican presidential nomination nationally and in Iowa and South Carolina, and may be threatening Mitt Romney's lead in New Hampshire.
The Republican presidential candidates, except for Ron Paul, haven't been paying much attention to young voters in the primaries and caucuses so far. But any Republican nominee -- which is to say probably Mitt Romney, or maybe Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum -- had better be paying attention to them in the summer and fall.
In an almost miraculous twist to the Republican presidential contest, Mitt Romney is converting Christian conservatives to his side in Florida. It's an eye-popping development since many on the religious right consider Romney neither Christian nor particularly conservative.