Mitt Romney won all five Republican primaries held last Tuesday, and won them in convincing fashion. His march to the GOP nomination is proceeding steadily ahead, as is demonstrated by the way his campaign has begun to smartly shift toward it's general election posture.
One piece of old business I want to mention before we move on is that since the last time I wrote about politics here, former Senator Rick Santorum has departed the race. His
fine announcement speech is here
. As we often see with these exit speeches, it was one of his best. I think knowing they're getting out takes the pressure off of these men and women, and that allows them to speak a little more from the heart. We wish the Senator and particularly his little daughter Bella, our best. She's spent her whole short life struggling with a major illness. Bella's daddy accomplished some impressive things with his campaign, and the smart money says he'll be a force in his party for a long time to come.
Moving forward, word
around the campground is that our favorite, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich,
will announce he's dropping out shortly as well
. Ah, what might have been! But we live in the moment here, so on to what's next.
What's next is that Governor Romney is in surprisingly good shape. Several national polls show him tied or ahead. Not a position one would expect him to be in, at least not yet. Considering the hyper-competitive primary process he's just emerging from, and that his opponent is an incumbent who is running unopposed for his nomination, the Romney campaign is well ahead of where they hoped to be at this point. Clearly the Republican Party is moving rapidly to consolidate behind it's presumptive nominee.
Mr. Romney brings some considerable strengths to this process, several of which are outlined in
this article Hugh Hewitt posted right here on Townhall
. Just one example is this quote from John McCain's 2008 campaign manger, Steve Schmidt: "I thought he was a very scary opponent looking from the other side of the table in that he was almost like a learning organism at the end," Schmidt said about the former Massachusetts governor. "He just kept getting better week by week by week, and kept becoming stronger." Impressive compliment from a former opponent.
Another plus for Team Romney is the strange campaign strategy the President is rolling out. Pete Wehner writes about this over at Commentary
. Jay Cost gives us his takes on the same subject
with this piece from The Weekly Standard
. Essentially what both men are pointing out is the President is not choosing a broad, centrist approach, but rather a narrow, hyper-partisan one. Many Americans, especially the independents that both sides need to win, dislike hyper-partisanship, so this strategy is risky.
More and more I get the feeling that many on our side of this contest believe that the cake is almost baked and that Barack Obama is a goner. Not that I sense any complacency. Far from it. Everyone I know who's involved plans on sprinting right through the tape on November 6. It's just that we all think the stage is set for a substantial blowout if Mitt Romney has the right plan and executes it well. This view, and this plan, is
summarized well by William Kristol, also writing at The Weekly
. He believes Mitt Romney can win, and win big.