At last Romney’s smear machine has done enough damage to get him the nomination.
His last remaining obstacle, Senator Rick Santorum, announced today that he was suspending his campaign. That’s a euphemism for giving up. Sunday on a news show, Newt Gingrich effectively admitted defeat, too. He doesn’t see a way to get the delegates that would secure the nomination in Tampa this summer. Gingrich has also run out of money. For a while he was asking supporters to buy signs. Now he is in the hole.
Neither Gingrich nor Santorum could match the bucks Romney was willing to use to buy the nomination. He started his negative ad campaigns against Bachmann, Perry, Cain, etc. and went on until they were obliterated. Santorum was always working on a shoestring. It’s amazing he got as far as he did.
At least in Tennessee and Mississippi, Romney’s throwing the kitchen sink at Santorum didn’t work. Too much common sense here for people to believe that Santorum eschews conservatism. In other states, Romney was more lucky. This upholds my view that Southerners are much more savvy than the rest of the country.
While I will not work for Romney, I will vote for him. If Romney is Nixon (and he seems frighteningly as flexible as the man who gave us the EPA and other such liberal fancies), Obama is a monstrous mix of Mao and Stalin. So in that respect, it is an easy decision.
But I am not optimistic about the vote in November. Will Romney take it to Obama the way he took it to Santorum? I doubt it. Our candidates were too squishy to bring up the Mormon business. Obama won’t be. He won’t do it directly, but it will be done for him. I have nothing against Mormons, but they do have some rites that may scare away Americans. Also, the David Plouffe/Axelrod contingent has been set up in Chicago for a year and a half doing opposition research on Romney. If he ever sneezed in a movie theater, they know about it. Does anyone think Romney’s people have been as thorough?
I’m glad Santorum stayed in as long as he did. He, along with Cain, Perry and Bachmann helped push Romney a little more to the right than he might have wanted to go. The Republican establishment has promoted him and wiped away the Tea Party influence. If he loses, it will be on their heads. Rove and company: be careful what you wish for.