Sarah Palin now says she might enter the race if there is not a clear winner soon.
Just when you thought this thing could not get any tackier.
Otherwise, it was just another night in the 2012 GOP primary season. If you titled this primary season for Republicans, what would you call it? I could not go with the "Magnificent Seven," but "The Longest Day" comes to mind.
In reality terms, Mr. Romney edged Mr. Santorum in Ohio. Late night reports had Mr. Romney trouncing Mr. Santorum, 38% to 37%. That is, unless there are uncounted counties, as in Iowa, where Mr. Santorum finished second, until he finished first. Major news outlets are calling Mr. Romney the clear winner of Super Tuesday, which is technically correct, but uninspiring, like everything else about Mitt Romney.
The terrible math, as Mr. Lincoln, a Whig turned Republican once called it, has Mr. Romney far enough ahead, we can now say it is his nomination to lose. He will probably not do well in the South, where he has already lost South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, but he will almost certainly continue to sweep the West, with its strong Mormon population.
Sadly, with Mr. Romney, there are still ways he can lose the nomination and he will almost certainly lose the general election. As for the nomination and his current crop of opponents, it is possible to see how Mr. Romney can lose but almost impossible to see how Santorum, Gingrich or Paul could beat him. Mr. Romney wins by the space of about $200,000,000, or one month's donations to his Super PAC, Restore Our Mitt.
If the other three fellows want to derail Mr. Romney they will need to push him harder on his health care stance, his religion and his overwhelming wealth, garnered at the expense of working people and financed with public money.
Imagine the moments squandered already. When Mr. Romney, unbelievably, turned to the late, unlamented Rick Perry and said, "I'll bet you $10,000, Rick," what if Governor Perry, instead of becoming unmanned had said, "There you go, Mitt, rubbing your billions in our faces. You still have not shown us your tax reports or explained how you got your money or how many people suffered for you to get rich."
Mr. Perry might still be in the race, not in Austin.
Or, if Mr. Gingrich, in the wake of his victory in South Carolina, where evangelical Southerners turned away from Mr. Romney in large numbers just as" he gained momentum" in New Hampshire (the first person since the Revolution to claim New Hampshire gave him momentum), what if Mr. Gingrich had gotten a primer from some of his preacher pals and said, "Mr. Romney cannot win the South, or the evangelicals, and no Republican is going to the White House without the South and the evangelicals for anything more than a tour."
Or, if Mr. Santorum, after sweeping the Plains States, had gone into the next debate and held aloft the USA today editorial wherein Mr. Romney touted his Romney-Care Health Insurance Plan from Massachussetts and demanded Mr. Obama make it the national plan. Apparently, Mr. Santorum does not get USA today.
Apparently, there are a lot of things Rick Santorum does not get.
Oh, well. There is still plenty of time for the Obama campaign to tear into Mr. Romney.
Unless Sarah Palin gets in the race. No one can say she has not been vetted by voters, who go crazy whenever she smiles and nods her head. If anyone has any more dirt on the Palins, we would almost certainly know by now. She would have to answer a lot of questions, to be sure, about skipping the primaries, caucuses and non-binding beauty contests but she could airily answer, "I went through all that in 2008. I am a better candidate for it but you don't have to walk that way a dozen times."
She might just as easily say, "Fifty debates, twenty candidates (math is not Sarah's thing) and still no nominee who can unite the party, energize the base or hit the major league fastball (sports metaphors Sarah gets). I can gut this moose (Sarah can gut a moose.).
In August, in Tampa, where it will be overwarm and humid, Mitt might find out what $200,000,000 cannot get you.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.