It would appear Newt Gingrich has finally seen the hand writing on the wall. Or, at least he has finally admitted in public what he has probably known for weeks now. In an interview this weekend he said Mitt Romney "is far and away the most likely republican nominee."
On Fox News Sunday Gingrich said he'd back Romney in the general election. He explained, despite months of charges to the contrary, that, "He (Romney) is conservative enough. I suspect he will accept a solid conservative platform, but he does have consultants who are of the Etch a Sketch tradition."
Newt's campaign, while not officially over, is awash in a sea of red ink, proving that the conservative mantra of fiscal responsibility is at best relative to the moment and the situation. Yes, deficit spending is evil when someone else is doing it, but there are certain personal exceptions. Do as I say, not as I do and all that.
His explanation for this disastrous defeat on the national level revolves around money. Mr. Gingrich says he badly underestimated Romney's ability to raise funds. "I was totally prepared to be out spent 2 to 1, or even 3 to 1. But when you are up to 5 or 6 to 1 you're being drowned. "
What he failed to mention was that there were tens of millions of people who simply thought he was not the guy. His own party's leadership hates his guts. Untold numbers of women and men alike consider him to have the loyalty of a rented snake. That is what cheating on and then divorcing two wives who had contracted critical diseases will do for you.
Newt can play the good soldier now and promise his support to Romney, but the fact is Romney doesn't need it and it is possible he doesn't want it. Gingrich can plan on spending the rest of his days writing books only conservative hacks will read and picking up a few bucks on the lecture trail. His days of real political clout are gone forever. The most he can possibly hope for from a Romney administration is an ambassadorship to someplace like Trinidad and Tobago.
Meanwhile Rick Santorum is doing a desperate imitation of Davey Crockett on the walls of the Alamo, swinging his rifle butt at overwhelming battalions of assault troops. Polls in Pennsylvania show him either leading by 4 points, or trailing by just as many. Romney, knowing this could well be the kill shot, is spending nearly $3 million there as I type.
The Boston Globe has even speculated that Santorum might drop out before the April 24th primary to save himself the embarrassment of losing his home state. I doubt that happens. Santorum has never shown any reluctance to embarrass himself. In fact he might even like it.
If we have learned anything during this process it is that scads of money will over come petty issues such as a complete lack of political conviction. Well, that and the republican field was full of utterly unacceptable and incompetent fools. People who their own party faithful found so distasteful that they voted for a guy they would have really preferred to avoid.
Once more the golden rule of American politics has held sway. He who has the gold rules.
Mitt, Omnia Vincit.