And there goes Jon Hunstman off into that long dark night. The former governor of Utah and United States ambassador to the People's Republic of China has given up his abbreviated campaign and thereby placed all of about five hundred South Carolina republicans back in the undecided pool. One poll had shown him trailing comedian Stephen Colbert in the primary. You know you are in trouble when a guy whose career is based on satirizing politics and politicians is ahead of you in a very real election.
Huntsman has endorsed Mitt Romney despite believing Romney to be "squishy" on important issues. What he has probably decided is that Romney is going to win the nomination and it is best to board that train as quickly as possible. What he has also done is confirmed what every hard right conservative in the country has suspected. Romney reeks of moderation and middle of the road politics and can't be trusted in the crunch.
In his departure speech Huntsman actually sounded like a reasonable sort of guy, which probably explains his early exit from this field of unprincipled ferrets. "This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people," he said. Indeed, he sees what every republican establishment pro sees. In the last few weeks republican candidates have given Barak Obama enough campaign fodder to last through three election cycles. Hell, in the Ron Paul conspiracy world, Newt Gingrich might even be considered an Obama mole. He could certainly be an ad writer for the president. Huntsman added, "The current toxic form of our political discourse does not help our cause."
It is going to get worse.
Thanks to the Super PACS no type of spurious and vile attack is too over the top. Millions of dollars are being donated and there is no accounting for the cash and where it came from. TV and radio time is being monopolized by these shadowy organizations that have about the same morals as did Augusto Pinochet hit squads. The pro Romney, Restore Our Future PAC has reportedly raised anywhere from $300 to $350 million. Newt's pal, casino owner, Sheldon Adelson alone has given the pro Gingrich, Winning Our Future PAC $5 million.
What Barak Obama really needs right now is for someone, anyone, to trip up El Mitt in South Carolina and Florida. He needs "this toxic form of political discourse" to continue as long as it possibly can. He needs those Super PACS out there on the airways screeching all sorts of inflammatory nonsense. In short he needs the republican blood letting to continue unabated for about three more months.
If Romney wins in South Carolina and certainly in Florida the race for the nomination is a done deal. His PAC can turn all that money and savagery onto Obama, which is exactly what he wants and needs to do.
If he loses both those states, or even one, the infighting will continue and republican money will continue to flow to other candidates rather than him.
In this new age of politics, more than ever, money talks and it talks loudly and incessantly. He who owes the most to the few wins.
To paraphrase Bill Shakespeare, a bribe by any other name....