01/18/2012 02:34 pm ET Updated Jan 30, 2012

Mitt Romney Madness: South Carolina Edition (VIDEO)

An odd thing seems to be afoot in the Republican presidential nomination race: The closer Mitt Romney gets to the nomination, the further he gets from sanity.

It began 11 days ago at the Manchester, New Hampshire debate, where Romney stuttered and stammered his way around his mute, stunned Republican rivals and equally flummoxed debate moderators like a vinyl record with zig-zag grooves.

In the South Carolina debate, Romney's condition only appeared to worsen. Not only did a simple grasp of language elude him, but he experienced both auditory and visual hallucinations as competitors and moderators alike moved before him in time to a booming electronic beat.

Romney's New Hampshire debate meltdown didn't prevent him from winning that state's primary, so it remains to be seen whether this performance will have any bearing on the outcome of the impending South Carolina contest. Though at this point, the more pressing question might be: What will Mitt Romney's madness look like if he actually wins the nomination?