The GOP primary has been as long as a Wagner opera, but we might finally be at the curtain call. We’ve heard for ages that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee, but the other candidates and the party’s base have doggedly challenged this from the start. But this week, Romney collected some of the final puzzle pieces that he needs to quash his remaining opponents. He won a long-awaited endorsement from Florida Senator and Republican darling Marco Rubio yesterday, a move the potential vice-presidential candidate said he wouldn’t make until the race was over. Gingrich downsized his cash-strapped campaign this week, and Karl Rove andSheldon Adelson have both said that the former speaker has no chance of winning. The last six Ron Paul groupies have run out of money and are heading home. Santorum’s campaign infrastructure is incredibly small, and he's being outspent by Romney in every state. The Republican National Committee has already started prepping for the general election. It looks like we might be watching the final breaths of the GOP primary and Romney looks like he can’t lose, just like the commentators have been saying all along.
What will there be to write about on slow news days between now and August? This week, with its lack of Etch A Sketches and primary nights, is only a small taste of what an election cycle will be like once Romney is the last candidate standing. Election coverage winter is coming. Let’s relish the zoo trips and bowling alley stops on the way there.
So They Say
“I watched him shoot on TV. I didn’t see any holes in the paper ... And I looked pretty hard.”
—A potential Rick Santorum commenting on his skills at the shooting range
Daily Meme: They Really Like Me...?
- George H.W. Bush: "We've known Mitt for a very long time (and) he's the man to do this job and get on and win the presidency."
- Marco Rubio: “In Mitt Romney, we have a candidate, an alternative, that in addition to being successful as a governor, running an important state in this country, has also been successful in the private sector."
- Jeb Bush: "Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall. I am endorsing Mitt Romney for our Party’s nomination.”
- Tim Pawlenty: “I believe he’s going to be our party’s nominee."
- Eric Cantor: "Who's going to best be able to lead this economy back to a growth mode ...? I just think there's one candidate in the race who can do that, and that's Mitt Romney."
- Tom Coburn: “What Romney has done in his 25 years in the private sector is precisely what we need a president to do in Washington."
- John McCain: “I’m really here for one reason and one reason only and that is to make sure we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America ... That’s why I’m here.”
- Jim DeMint: "I'm not only comfortable with Romney, I'm excited about the possibility of him possibly being our nominee" (not an actual endorsement).
What We're Writing
- Jamelle Bouie writes that Marco Rubio is handsome, charismatic ... and irrelevant to the GOP's standing with Latino voters.
- Paul Waldman points out that traditional campaigns tend to beat out the ones that claim to be transformational.
What We're Reading
- When did political operatives become modern-day political heroes?
- The Obama campaign wants to scare you.
- Republicans should give up on being able to campaign on health care for a bit.
- "Newt Gingrich does not eat sandwiches; he fundamentally transforms them, radically changing them from solid foodstuff to masticated bolus to energy."
- Romney was an intense college student.
- GOP trying to copy Democrats' high-tech campaign savvy.
- "Meet subdued Santorum."
- Update on 2012's big Senate races
- "Therefore, I respectfully dissent from the Court’s judgement—and no, I am not cool with extra cheese."
Poll of the Day
Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 20 percentage points and Rick Santorum by 26 points among women voters, according to Pew Research's latest poll.