Mitt Romney just cannot close the deal on the Republican Presidential nomination. Despite having outspent his closest rival Rick Santorum by an amazing ratio of 4:1 in Super Tuesday States, Romney barely won the most important delegate rich Ohio (by a margin of 1%), and did not do enough to cement his position as the candidate to be, losing in Tennessee and Oklahoma and surprisingly in North Dakota.
Make no mistake, Romney is still the front runner in this race as his money bought him enough victories to stay ahead. He is so cash rich that it would not be wise to bet against him, but he is barely beating the most pathetic field of candidates in recent history.
The GOP now has a very serious problem on their hands as they simply do not have a candidate capable of winning in November. Even if Romney wins, his inability to fend off amateurish campaigns from underfunded and underwhelming rivals spells catastrophe against the extraordinary capabilities of the Obama machine. The Democrats have a telegenic super star with one of the best campaign organizations in history. The Republicans have a disingenuous robot incapable of telling the truth from one moment to the next, who, no matter how much money is thrown at him, cannot come out on top.
Rick Santorum is also incapable of winning a general election. He is too extreme for mainstream America, and while he plays well with the angry white males who watch Fox News, he has no chance with sane Republicans, swing voters or independents. They will simply sit the election out, or go with the President.
The GOP head honchos are fully aware of this problem, and must be desperately running through hail Mary contingency plans for when the dust settles. My guess is that it will come down to the Vice Presidential position. Both Romney and Santorum need a balancing partner to fill their gigantic flaws, and the GOP will have to do a damn sight better than Sarah Palin.
If I were a betting man, I’d go with Jeb Bush for Romney (he gets the Bush Sr. conservatives and a lot of the base) and Condoleeza Rice for Santorum (she’s black, and a woman – two categories Santorum has virtually no chance of appealing to by himself). Neither are particularly good choices, but when you look at the rest of the party, there isn’t much else worth talking about.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.