Newt Gingrich is poised to officially drop out of the 2012 GOP race for the presidency this Wednesday. Mitt Romney has now become the presumptive nominee, however unwillingly his party has embraced him. On the eve of this long overdue event, let us pause to reflect on the chaos that has ensued over the course of this wild election season.
Prior to Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney’s campaign start ups in June of 2011, the contenders were Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson, Rick Santorum, Buddy Roemer and Herman Cain. Pawlenty and Johnson dropped out prior to September. John Huntsman joined in August. Rick Perry followed Bachmann’s suit in September before his subsequent monumental failures over the course of the GOP’s series debates caused him to exit the race mid-January 2012. Cain dropped out in late November, Johnson in late December, preceding Hunstman who bowed out along with Perry in January. Roemer exited the race February 23rd.
The race heated up between Santorum and Romney after the Iowa caucuses where it was discovered that the projected winner was not, in fact, Romney, but Santorum, who had beat Romney by a scant thirty-four votes. After losing the Wisconsin primary, Santorum suspended his campaign on April tenth, also on the heels of his daughter’s recent illness. Newt Gingrich won in his home state of Georgia and other Southern states, but refused to bow out, despite simple math which proved his bid for the presidency to be lacking any and all viability.
May 3rd will see the last of the twenty seven GOP debates which have made, in addition to the GOP’s vitriolic inability to unify behind a single candidate, a mockery of the party. Who can forget that Perry believed the American Revolution was begun in the 16th century and his other huge ‘oops’ moments during the debates, chiefly, forgetting the names of the government agencies he wanted to do away with? Who can forget Herman Cain’s comical broken record recitations of his 9-9-9 tax plan, as well as his comments that ‘all Muslims were trying to kill us’ when asked if he would have a Muslim member in his cabinet? Bachmann not knowing that Libya was a part of Africa? Romney’s $10,000 bet, in the middle of an economic depression? Newt Gingrich’s fabled ‘moon colony’? My heart goes out the the comedians who will have to revert to writing their own material, absent the comedy gold provided by this election season.
On March 6th of this year Romney picked up the bulk of Super Tuesday’s votes, leaving Santorum and Gingrich virtually tied, vote-wise. This month Romney has been endorsed by former president George H.W. Bush, who has been openly critical of the damage which this primary season has done to the party. Ron Paul is Romney’s sole contender; not a viable one, with seventy-six delegates to combat Romney’s eight-hundred-and-forty-one, but alas, still in the race. It is indeed the end of the most tumultuous, gaff-filled GOP race in recent history. Onwards to August 27th, the GOP convention in Tampa, which has finally ruled itself out as the site of a brokered convention.