It’s been over 10 months since the race began.
It turned out to be a marathon, not a 50 yard dash. Some GOP primary runners sprinted off the starting line, others jogged. As the contest proceeded, some forged ahead then faltered, surged then slogged, took the lead then limped away.
Along with blistered feet, there was blistering rhetoric. We’ve heard warm-up and wind-down speeches and everything in between. It’s been a real spectator sport and at times, a spectacle. But, mostly, it’s been spectacular. Every runner enriched the race. Each competitor pushed the others to run stronger, better.
While not officially over, the tape stretching across the primary finish line is, at last, in sight.
Who do we see coming down the home stretch?
We see the runner who was oft derided because he didn’t grandstand. The runner marginalized because he was steady. The runner who gauged his pace while others flashed past. We see the runner whose lifelong preparation, principles, and message gave him the strength to recover from bumps in the road. We see the runner who wasn’t rash, but knew when to rush. We see the runner who, in the end, proved he had the stamina and stuff to win…
Carl M. Cameron (Real Clear Politics) writes:
Resilient Romney Bests His Last GOP Challenger
… Romney… proved to have one key prerequisite to running a competitive general election campaign: He can take a punch. When he got decked, which happened repeatedly, sometimes by his own corner, Mitt Romney picked himself off the canvas and began launching haymakers on whatever rival was standing in his way — and there were several of them.
… No Republican candidate ever captured the nomination after having trailed so many rivals at one time or another in straw votes, fundraising, public opinion polls, and buzz. They came at him in waves, as though they were running a relay race and Romney was running a marathon by himself. In the ended, he bested the entire tag team of Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich & Santorum.
Romney’s last two competitors are trotting a mile behind:
One Romney adviser said Tuesday that the campaign would mostly refrain from engaging Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, although both men vowed in similar language to remain in the race as the conservative alternative to the front-runner. The focus, this Romneyite said, would be “on Obama and bringing the Republican Party together.”
Senator Pat Toomey offers advice to spectators determined to defeat Obama:
“Now is the time for conservatives to rally around Gov. Romney and help deliver a victory in Pennsylvania and America this November,” conservative Sen. Pat Toomey said in a statement issued hours after Santorum’s withdrawal. “I am confident Gov. Romney will be a great president and will return our country to the conservative principles that make our nation great.”
Toomey represents Pennsylvania, a state Obama carried four years ago by 10 points. But with the sour national economy, the most recent polling shows it much closer than the race between Obama and McCain — and it’s not a state that Romney’s forces are planning to concede to the Democrats. As for the 11 states Romney lost to Santorum, for the most part they were either low-turnout caucus states or places such as Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and North Dakota, where Republicans should win in November.
So perhaps there has been no lasting harm to Romney’s general election chances, despite all the punches that have landed on that still-handsome mug. But many conservatives remain wary. They will watch how Romney campaigns from now on, whom he picks as a running mate …
While politicos will now chatter about V.P. possibilities and we Romney supporters are breathing somewhat of a sigh of relief, we understand it’s a time for others to catch their breath, reflect, and face reality. Governor Romney earned the right to grip the GOP baton. He will be the one to take the race to Obama. Each participant made the race ever so exciting. Sincere thanks to all.
We hope all who love America and our opportunity society will soon rally to Romney. Like Senator Toomey said, we need everyone to chime in, cheer the baton-bearer, and help chase Obama from the White House.
Believe in Romney.
He can win this thing.
Then, America wins.
(emphasis added to article)
► Jayde Wyatt