Super Tuesday, Ohio still too close to call.
In primary politics, the trend these days is for the political ruling class to tell ordinary people that they need to consolidate behind a single candidate, early, so that one strong candidate will be anointed early and make the strongest possible challenge to Obama. I do not buy this. Primaries are for the few ordinary people who care enough to vote in them, and they should be free to vote for whomever they like best. I have always admired those political leaders who remain as neutral as Switzerland throughout the primary process, and I always resent the manipulative message of those who jump on the mainstream bandwagon too early. Even worse is the high attrition rate in the field, long before Super Tuesday. When I've been able to in the past I've voted for the underdog candidate if I liked him as long as his name was on the ballot. This year, of course, no primary for Washingtonians. And in Virginia, no Santorum or Gingrich on the ballot. I find myself a bit envious of those who actually have an influence in the primary vote, even when it's confusing. This year we are fortunate to have an interesting race in the primary season, and I hope that will make for a healthy general election.
Romney seems as inevitable as he ever was, but it's hard to see the passion, either coming from him or directed toward him. He exudes... competence. Which is good, and we Republicans like that in our presidents, but we also like them to be inspiring. Like Reagan. And Romney has a hard time being inspiring.
Santorum has had a good run. Like Huckabee last time, he captured the Evangelical vote of the rank and file without having powerful spokesmen or copious funding. He could still win... or he should at the very least be heavily favored for VP. He has more warmth and relatability than Romney, and appears less plastic.
Newt Gingrich is not going to win the nomination, but he has provided great entertainment value so far this election cycle. I have to say I like him better than before. Whether the nominee is Romney or Santorum, I hope someone creates a special role for him in a Republican administration. Something not too closely linked with the President, of course, to avoid negative backlash, but something like "Special Czar in charge of putting uppity media members in their place." He does that so well.
I've probably picked on Ron Paul enough in this blog. He should get a special appointment in a Republican administration, too. And since it probably shouldn't be ambassador to Pakistan, maybe it should be a position that capitalizes on his uncanny ability to reach out to youth and get them marching in lockstep with his agenda... as long as it's not just his agenda. I always worry about that with him.