The GOP primary is finally starting to fall into the groove reporters and pundits have insisted it was in all along. Romney is comfortably ahead in delegates, endorsements, and attacks from Democrats, and his current opponents are having a harder and harder time proving their relevance. Newt Gingrich is finally starting to fade from the limelight; his insistance that his campaign will make it to Tampa falls increasingly on deaf ears as embedded reporters flee his side with alacrity. And Rick Santorum—the conservative point man in the race—is starting to buckle under pressure to cede the nomination to Romney so the party can turn its attention to beating Barack Obama. Romney is trying to pretend his opponent no longer exists—in an interview with Wolf Blitzer today, he said, “I'm not going to worry too much about what Rick is saying these days,” which is basically the tack that all the party elite have taken with the Santorum campaign.
As pressure mounts, so does Santorum’s anger, as evidenced by his expletive-laced repartée with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny this weekend. As Molly Ball points out, though, “Santorum isn't really angry at the media—he's angry at the facts.” But the facts are not liable to change, and the only purpose Santorum’s presence in the primary continues to serve is injuring Romney’s general-election chances—and his own credibility. A former Huckabee campaigner said Santorum’s campaign was viable "as long as it doesn't become a mudfest ... You've got one chance to get out of a race gracefully." A mudfest is just what it's become. If Rick plays his cards right and ducks out at the right time, he can follow in Romney's footsteps. Romney has been losing like a champ for the past decade, and finally, his superior dropping-out-and-running-again skills have been rewarded. If Santorum drops out soon, Who knows?, maybe he will be limping his way to a nomination four years down the road.
So They Say
“Now, President Obama couldn't be here. I read that he is in Korea, at the DMZ. Would somebody tell me: Why do ya have to go all the way to Korea to get a Drivers License? Must be something to do with that birth certificate thing."
—Rick Perry, joking at Saturday's Gridiron Dinner
This is the Daily Meme on Herman Cain
Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain released another ad today. The Internet was appropriately amused/horrified. Our favorite tweets about the incident:
- @jesseltaylor: Herman Cain shot the bunny that is my heart with the gun that is utter incoherence, narrated by the little girl that is a little girl.
- @VanityFair: New Herman Cain Ad Depicts Violent Death of Rabbit, Metaphor.
- @BuzzFeedAndrew: Herman Cain's new video manages to offend both animal rights supports and cinematographers.
- @Indecision: Why is Herman Cain even making ads anymore? His favorite part of running a presidential campaign must have been people making fun of him.
- @NKingofDC: Herman Cain appears to have teamed up with Salvador Dali and Luis Bunel on a series of web ads touting animal torture.
- @thegarance: Herman Cain has a new video featuring a blonde girl, a rabbit, a catapult and a gun -- because of course he does.
- @JasonSchreier: I don't know what's better, the rabbit exploding or Herman Cain as the last survivor in a post-apocalyptic wasteland
- @AmericaVotes: Gun control ad? War on Easter? Confused RT @samsteinhp The new Herman Cain video is soooooooooooo disturbing
What We're Writing
- Paul Waldman comments on Rick Santorum's slightly hyperbolic new ad.
- John Powers explains why Rachel Maddow is a leftie wonk's hero.
What We're Reading
- Frank Rich takes a look at the history of the GOP's woman problem.
- Jon Chait: "One of the things I have found in previous elections is that announcing my plans makes people want to vote against me!"
- The $3 million in outside money already flooding the Tester-Rehberg Senate race in Montana is "just a taste of what’s coming.”
- Ryan Lizza tracks down the memo revealing the thought process behind Obama's change of heart on the individual mandate, which he initially opposed.
- "Hyper-Socratic" Elizabeth Warren is endorsed by three users of RateMyProfessors.com.
- Why don't Americans elect scientists?
- The GOP candidates are starting to woo the 117 unbound delegates up for grabs.
- Americans Elect is finding out that getting people excited about centrism is actually kinda hard.
Poll of the Day
Sixty-four percent of Californian voters approve of Governor Jerry Brown's new plan to raise taxes in order to balance the budget. Brown's new proposal includes a millionaire's tax, which he added to his plan to appease liberal critics and has strong public support.