Already he hasn't been gone for long and my friends and I are missing him madly. When Mitt Romney threw in the towel and dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination this morning, with him went not only the last of the putative leading candidates on the GOP slate, but a whole lot of Democratic hope that the nincompoop would somehow survive the brutal squishing handed to him from the left and right of his party on Super Tuesday and fight on until every vote had been counted.
But Mitt doesn't look like much of a fighter to me. It would be unseemly to see dirt under his fingernails. Sure, he had a deserved reputation, reading from Slate, for 'being quick to go negative', however, that trait didn't particularly make it onto the TV in the UK, where, most darkly, he looked like the guy central casting sent over to play the slick/evil president in a straight to DVD political thriller. A George Hamilton stranded on fantasy Island. How he'd manage to win the Governor's office of a liberal north eastern state was never evident in the debates. He appeared unelectable in so many ways... The name one thing wrong in America question? A.Nothing. "I'll double the size of Guantanamo..." But you just can't be far enough to the right to win the republican nomination it seems. In reality, Romney was the conservative hopeful, in a nice conservative suit, leaning somewhere to the left of Britain's Labour Party. His own record in Massachusetts sold him out of the race.
And useless to the country though he was, he was Fox NewsChannels last trombone in the big parade. I am not sure if they will bother with too much more election coverage from now on... War? What War??? Election? What Election? It may be. Nevermind he'd already lost, there was still a Pau to the Lakers (in exchange for a basketball player who can't catch the ball), Shaq to the Suns, Dead Ledger quality to it when the news came.
I had high hopes for a Nixon-esque moment at withdrawal. "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference..." Except aimed at the Republican rank and file who'd dogged him badly of late. Colluded against him. Unfortunately it wasn't like that. Unfortunately Mitt thinks he'll stick around and see what happens and pick it up again in four years.
The last count will not be of the delegates he won or lost. The final tally of his campaign will be how much of his personal fortune he spent to be 2012's John Edwards.
March sees a greatly expanded reissue of Elliott Smith's most critically acclaimed album Either/Or
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