Well, the results of the latest wave of primaries are in. The people have spoken, decisively. All 10 of them.
I am exaggerating. In Rhode Island, well over 3 percent of the eligible voters flocked to the polls on Tuesday, as the overwhelming majority declared their enthusiasm for Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee. We are totally talking mandate.
And I cannot tell you how much excitement there was in New York. Six percent turnout! In my neighborhood, the atmosphere was electric. Voters had not been so politically exercised since that year we had a primary pitting a recently deceased congressman and a member of a cultlike group led by a Marxist psychotherapist.
And, wow, no more Newt Gingrich.
Newt is reportedly planning to drop out of the presidential race on Tuesday. The crushing blow was the Delaware primary, where the Gingrich campaign had hoped to win a dramatic come-from-behind victory under the theory that only a couple of Republicans would actually vote and that they would be the same people who once nominated Christine O’Donnell for the Senate.
Unfortunately, a whopping 16 percent of the eligible electorate showed up, way too big a crowd for the fragile Gingrich candidacy to withstand. This has been a terrible month for Newt. His campaign is millions in debt. His pet billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, seems to have deserted him. He was bitten by a penguin at the St. Louis Zoo. And now this.
Did you ever notice how many of the Republican candidates seemed to have animal issues? Rick Perry shot that coyote, and Jon Huntsman got bitten by a goat — really, that was the high point of the Huntsman campaign. Also, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the veep front-runner, recently imitated a chicken on television. You will be hearing more about this incident because I think I speak for the entire national media when I say that we are planning to discuss possible Republican vice presidential candidates nonstop through the spring and summer.
And the winner is the guy who drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car!
“My guess is you’ll see a dramatic difference in the youth vote this time — part of it is you have a younger, more dynamic Republican candidate,” said a Romney surrogate, former Senator Hank Brown.
Take that, young Americans. You can’t find jobs because the baby boomers are never going to retire. The Republicans in Congress want to raise the price of student loans. And, in politics, 65-year-olds get to be the youth candidate.
We are now in for six months of Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama, and with the polls showing the race to be very close, you could argue that it is going to be really exciting. Except for the fact that it’s Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama.
Ignore the polls, I beg you. It will just make you nervous and crazy for no good reason. When it comes to their political preferences, the American people are like a bunch of middle school students picking their best friend on Facebook. Do you know who one of the most popular political figures in the United States is right now? Hillary Clinton! Nearly two-thirds of Americans are crazy about Hillary Clinton, and only 27 percent view her unfavorably. Do you remember when she was the most polarizing name in politics? Do you remember when she lost to Barack Obama and we all said it was like the cool popular guy versus the hard-working student council treasurer? Barack Obama would kill for Hillary Clinton’s favorability ratings now.
Romney is now busy with a passel of closed-door fund-raisers in states like New Jersey and New York, which he will never, ever, visit for any other reason than closed-door fund-raisers. Newt’s future plans are unknown. Perhaps he will go back to that great job he had before, getting $300,000 fees for his advice as a historian to corporations with big financial interests pending in Congress. And what about Rick Santorum? You can’t spend the rest of your life not endorsing Mitt Romney. The only guy who seems to have his future plotted out is Ron Paul, who is apparently planning to continue running for president while we all ignore him.
So many surprises to look forward to. What humanizing interchange will Mitt have with the public next? Will it be as good as the last one, when he insulted the cookies at a Pittsburgh community center? Will he win over the loser Republicans’ billionaires? Their celebrity supporters? Rich guys are one thing, but Gary Busey will take some wooing.
Will he ever release all his tax returns? Will he keep the Kid Rock theme song for his campaign? Have we ever had a presidential nominee who walks on stage to a song that seems to suggest he is “wild, like an untamed stallion?” When we did, would you have imagined it would be Mitt Romney?