To mangle S.E. Hinton – that was then, and this is now. A poor performance by Mr. Santorum in the Arizona debate last Thursday hurt him, perhaps irreparably. He now trails Mr. Romney by 6 points in Michigan, and 13 points in Arizona.
Mr. Santorum’s day might be done. The hubris of the true believer raised its head as soon as he took a national lead over Mr. Romney, and he let it all hang out, letting all the world see his Opus Dei extremism for what it is. With a nation of women in their ovulating years prepared to vote overwhelmingly Democratic this election cycle (there’s a pun in there somewhere), Mr. Santorum’s Medieval views on birth control (the rhythm method, basically) pretty much sink him nationally.
Even Republicans – somewhere in the murk of their reptilian brain stems – can figure out that a Santorum/Father Flanagan ticket in November might cost them the House and the Senate as well as the White House, and we expect they will come to their senses and go with Mr. Romney – pretty damn quick, too. As in, by the end of Super Tuesday, on March 6.
With 59 total delegates up for grabs this coming Tuesday, Mr. Romney stands to grab the lion’s share. Arizona’s 29 delegates are awarded in winner-take-all fashion, and in Michigan Mr. Romney, even if he basically ties with Mr. Santorum, will hold his own.
Ron Paul realizes that this nomination belongs to the Romney camp. Dr. Paul and Mr. Romney have been BFFs for months now, with the Mushy Mormon constantly showing polite deference to Dr. No, and with the good doctor consistently attacking each serious Romney challenger to rear up from the slime. They did as much at the debate last Thursday, effectively sealing Mr. Santorum’s fate.
We, along with much of the blogosphere, must ask: What is Dr. Paul angling for with his buddy-pal approach vis-à-vis Mr. Romney?
Speculation abounds, with our favorite being that Mr. Romney is dangling a vice presidential slot before the flaring nostrils of KY Senator Rand Paul. (He’s from Kentucky, but we like KY – he just looks like a KY Senator to us.) Parenthood trumps integrity every time, and though it seems Mitt Romney should be the embodiment of everything Dr. Paul despises in a flip-flopping fakey-fake conservative, the VP thing for li’l Rand might just work for him.
It might help Mr. Romney, too. For one thing, the father and son names are similar enough that plenty of Paul supporters might jump on board the Romney/Paul ticket. That bump could be mitigated by Rand Paul’s basic amateurism politically – he is capable, for instance, of bad-mouthing the Civil Rights Act, letting all the good folks of Amerika know he wouldn't have voted for it -- which in a sane world would render one DOA in national politics.
But we are in Republican land, for the nonce, and Rand Paul might just look peachy-keen to a tired old fella like Mr. Romney. My goodness, Sen. Paul might even energize the Romney campaign in the same way Sarah Palin propped up Old Man McCain four years ago.
We are going all in on the idea of a Romney/Paul ticket for the GOP. We’re committed to it. At least for the next 48 hours.