It may be time for GOP to get behind Mitt for November.
It's official. The dead horse has been beaten to a bloody pulp.
He may be quite milquetoasty. He may not be everyone's favorite. He may have more waffles than IHOP on a Sunday morning. But, one thing is certain, Mitt Romney is the eventual Republican Presidential Nominee, and the sooner that Rick Santorum ends his quixotic nosebleed of a campaign and gets squarely in Romney's corner the better off the Republican Party is going to be.
Gone are the days when Santorum, and to a lesser extent, New Gingrich, can sell themselves as a viable Conservative alternative to Romney. That ship as sailed. One could certainly make a case that the two men may have cannibalized each others campaigns by splitting the Evangelical voting bloc in many battleground states. Indeed the far-right factions of American politics who embrace the policies of exclusion may have chosen the Republican candidate for the rest of us by refusing to coalesce around a candidate who can defeat the comparatively moderate, and very well financed Mitt Romney.
Regardless of how you slice it, Romney is your standard bearer. Do you think George W. Bush didn't hold his nose, and perhaps vomit in his mouth a little when he endorsed Romney last week? Do you think his brother Jeb would sooner attend the West Palm Beach Pride Parade than get behind Romney if he had any other choice but to side with the inevitable favorite? More than likely, but this is the system in which we operate.
Politics and policy-making is a business of compromise. Legislators and Executives rarely ever pass a perfect bill. In order to pacify both sides in the hyper-partisan times in which we live, there needs to be substantial compromise. The same adage holds true for primary elections, and we're seeing it with Romney. Romney showed his strength by consistently winning urban and suburban regions that are normally carried by Democrats in General Elections. The sheer population numbers of these places was enough to catapult him over his opponents, who were able to win small rural counties with unwavering conservative bases, but little else.
Now, despite what we may have originally thought, a few months of light calisthenics await Romney as he faces voters in places like Maryland, New York and Connecticut in the coming weeks. Even if the electoral math allows for Santorum to stay mathematically alive, he must do what's best for the party and allow for Romney to begin running against one man, and one man only. Anything that distracts him from confronting onslaught of the Obama Money Machine would be categorically unwise. The party must coalesce quickly, or face an uncertain future in November.