While I was on vacation, Santorum failed to close the deal. He was too scary even for the Republicans. Of course, saying that Romney closed the deal may be overstating the case. His inability to garner more than 50% of primary voters in any state until the sideshow geeks were the only opposition left standing would be troubling except for the fact that Republicans are herd animals.
Herd animals stand on the sidelines while adversaries for top dog duke it out, then fall in line docilely behind the winner. It would seem that the herd scenario is being played out by the Republicans, but there may be a caveat or two to consider. Can Romney run away from Romneycare, from the perception that he’s just another effete, privileged Massachusetts liberal in Tea Party clothing? Will the Tea Party rally back to him? Does the Tea Party matter anymore?
Don’t be silly. Of course the Tea Party matters. If nothing else, the Tea Party has pulled the Republican Party hard right and taken the national conversation along with it.
Anybody but Obama. That will be the subtext – and in some cases the explicit message – to every bit of advertising, every speech, every Fox News commentary for the next five months.
Will it be enough? Predictions will have to wait just a bit longer. Right now? Too close to call.