It is official. The Mitt has the Big Mo behind him. After scooping up 43 delegates in Illinois his lead has expanded to three hundred over his nearest rival, Rick Santorum. His tally is now at 563 which is just a handful of conventioneers short of being half way home.
Next up is Louisiana with 40 plus delegates. Romney has been a complete failure in the south with the exception of Florida. Although the reality is that Florida ceases to be a southern state once you hit the Orlando and Tampa city limits and go south. Even with a ringing victory in Louisiana Santorum is just delaying the inevitable. Beyond the bayous loom Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. It is hard to imagine the former senator winning any of those states except maybe Pennsylvania and even that isn't a sure bet. The last time he was involved in a election in his home state the voters ran him out of office on a rail.
The Obama people think it is a done deal and after yesterday it looks to be they are right.
As I type the Romney people are debating who will be his running mate. The obvious choice is to go conservative. Shore up the right wing and south with some southern social conservative screecher who will rile up the masses. Somebody who will condemn liberals, Hollywood, MSNBC, CNN and just about anyone who ever even thought Planned Parenthood and affordable health care might be good ideas.
There is no doubt he needs someone who can energize a crowd. Mitt himself certainly can't. He has all the charisma of a damp wash cloth. It is one of several reasons this thing has dragged out so long. I mean the guy has more money than God and Santorum, who couldn't even win re-election to the senate is technically still alive.
But, does he need a southern Sarah Palin who actually has a functioning brain? The brutal answer to that is no. Despite the abject debacles he has suffered in the old south, the confederate south, come November they'll all be in his pocket. The only possible exceptions to that are Florida and North Carolina. No, the descendants of the Army of Northern Virginia will hold their noses as they vote for him, but vote for him they will. It is absolutely delusional to think places like Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and further west, Oklahoma and Texas can be carried by Obama under any circumstances.
No, what Mitt Romney needs is some dynamo from a swing state. An Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, or New Jersey. He has the south. What he really needs is to cut into Obama's 2008 electoral total somewhere north and east of Kentucky. That is why I tend to think New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is currently on a vigorous diet and exercise program. Christie is just the type of blue collar pit bull that Romney needs.
Obviously Christie has to agree to the spot on the ticket, but he has never said he'd turn it down. If he thinks Romney can win and he can, why wouldn't he? It sets him up for the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue eight years down the road.
One thing we do know for sure is that each prospective vice presidential candidate will be vetted for months before the decision is made. Republican operatives will be crawling up bodily orifices with head lamps ablaze. There is no way they are going to foul up so completely like they did four years ago. The Palin disaster taught them a lesson they will never forget. The guys and gals at Saturday Night Live will never have it that easy again.
So, the campaign for the nomination will drag on, but it seems just a formality now. Look for Romney's rhetoric, his focus, to shift toward Obama. It would appear that the real presidential campaign is about to begin in earnest. As Holmes said in another context, "The Game is afoot." For the republicans and Mitt Romney, it is about time.