Is That Mamma Cass I Hear?

April 4, 2012

They say it’s not over until the fat lady sings, but I think I hear Mamma Cass – and probably Kate Smith – singing “God Bless America …”  Which suggests that after Mitt Romney took Maryland, the District of Columbia, and especially Wisconsin, it’s all over for 2012.  Like him or not, Mitt Romney is now the odds-on favorite to be the Republican nominee (and remember, I’m in Las Vegas, adn we know something about the odds).

If I was a betting man (and my lottery tickets are still here on my desk, gathering dust, so I guess I am), I’d say that Rick Santorum will not immediately get out of the race.  Mr. Newt is another matter – he’s only staying in the race in the increasingly vain hope that we’ll have a brokered convention, where his “Speaker of the House” brand of political deal-making expertise will help him pull out a miracle victory – and as soon as it’s obvious there won’t be a brokered convention, he’ll go back to making DVDs about Popes and Catholicism and Reagan (not necessarily in that order).  But Santorum, as our more-0r-less “official” Not-Romney candidate, will, I think, stay in for a while longer.

His sole remaining strategy has to be the (increasingly unlikely) Romney melt-down.  Perhaps Mitt will have a “Macaca Moment” and wind up throwing away his lead in the late primaries; but that’s unlikely, because Romney is too buttoned-down to make such a blatant gaff.  But it could happen, and something like that is Santorum’s sole hope.  And a very thin hope at that.

Were I to be a Santorum adviser, I’d quietly suggest to him that he step away from the race, throw his support behind Romney, then hope (or even cut a deal for) a cabinet position in the upcoming Romney Administration.  At this precise moment, his departure would allow Romney to start going full-bore against Obama – in essence, starting the official campaign five months early … a margin he may need, in the face of Obama’s likely billion-dollar war chest, his absolute domination in the mainstream media, and the very real benefits that automatically accrue to any sitting President.

I honestly doubt that Santorum would do that.  This has become too personal, and he’s got too much emotion invested in this campaign to walk away before it’s mathematically-impossible for him to win.  Prior to these latest primaries, he needed to capture 74% of all remaining outstanding delegates to win a first-round nomination, and more than 50% of them to have a prayer of a brokered convention.

But having lost Wisconsin (especially), it’s time that Rick Santorum listen to the music.  I think it’s the fat lady singing …


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