08 March 2012

Mitt Romney's Super Tuesday and Surreal Wednesday

Mitt Romney pulled out a critical win in yesterday's 10-state "Super Tuesday" primary run, taking first in 6 states and 2nd in 3 more. More importantly, he picked up a massive amount of delegates, now giving him more than double the number of his nearest rival. Yep, it was a big win for Romney . . . unless you ask two particular political factions: Santorum supporters and Obama supporters. On Wednesday both of those groups claimed that Romney actually lost on Tuesday. And while their talking points are different, their intent is the same. Both groups want Rick Santorum to face Barack Obama in the general election.

According to the Santorum Camp, Romney lost Super Tuesday because, well,  he should have crushed Santorum like a sheet of addictive bubble wrap, having outspent him by a margin of 4 to 1(though they shamelessly shine the disparity to something like 10 gazillion to 1). It's a loss because Romney spent all that cabbage and barely won. And Team Santorum makes this claim with such conviction that you almost believe them. But given more than a second's worth of reflection and the logic unravels. By their argument, Obama didn't actually win the presidency because he outspent McCain 3 to 1. The New York Giants aren't really the Super Bowl Champs because Eli Manning threw for more yardage than Tom Brady. Michael Moore doesn't really outweigh Calista Flockhart because he eats more Twinkies by a margin of 4 to 1. In their attempt to excuse the results they miss one undeniable and final point: Mitt Romney won and the convention delegates added to his coffers are the proof.

Interestingly, Obama supporters also claim that Romney lost yesterday. Their reasoning: they really, really want to face Rick Santorum in the general election come November. Pretty please with strawberries and whipped cream on top. Their stated reason is a little less obvious, however. According to the Left, Romney lost because he didn't actually eliminate the competition. He showed "remarkable weakness as a frontrunner" because there are still other Republican hopefuls in race. In the same way Michael Phelps repeatedly shows his remarkable weakness as a swimmer because he wins most of his races by fractions of a second. In the same way Bill Clinton showed remarkable weakness as a presidential candidate having only receive 43% of the popular vote the first time he was elected. The outcomes were close. Santorum, Gringrich and Paul refuse to quite after losing even more ground in the delegate count. So obviously Romney lost.

It's easy to recognize why these to factions are saying what they're saying. They want to sway voters. They want to claim Romney is weak. They want the infinitely unelectable Santorum on the ballot. But sometimes the truth is just the truth. Romney won. Whether because of the money, his message or his humming organization, Romney won. And as he racks up delegates it's becoming clearer by the week that he will eventually be the Republican nominee.

While I'm on the subject of Super Tuesday, I have to say something of Rick Santorum's "victory speech" at the end of the night. First of all, could this guy possible give longer speeches after every friggin' primary and caucus? Good Lord! I felt like I was back in my childhood listening to my mother rattle off incessantly about the wonders of cod liver oil. And second of all, I know his words sound tonally appealing to some, but do they ever listen to what he's actually saying. My favorite speech moment was when he dropped that "rights don't come from the government." Really, Rick? Ever heard of the Constitution?