The point is this: Whoever gets the GOP nod is going to get beaten up by a presidential re-election campaign whose only hope of winning is to make the alternative to Obama seem absolutely unacceptable. The key question is which candidate gives them the most material with which to work.
No doubt some of the charges that will be lobbed by the Obama re-election effort will be terrible distortions, or even downright inaccurate. But bear in mind that every minute that has to be spent defending the details of a candidate's words or actions, past or present, is a minute that can't be spent making the case for replacing Barack Obama.
The big negative on Romney is the perception that he's a flip-flopper. Is that as much of a deal-breaker for regular American voters as Gingrich's perceived penchant for shooting off his mouth at inopportune times and things like his history as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac?
Obviously, no one knows for sure. But those are the questions GOP voters need to be considering -- not whether Obama can make an ugly-sounding attack ad against any of the candidates, because we already know the answer to the latter: He can and he will.
Immediately below, Katie notes the ugly attack ads that President Obama will be able to make if Mitt Romney turns out to be the Republican nominee.