The two-man race between Mitt Romney, He of the Mandated Health Insurance, and Newt Gingrich, He of the Lunar Janitorial Academy for Kids, has reduced conservative cuticles to nubs. Tea Partyers are threatening to stay home in November and the eminent Bill Kristol has not yet given up his dream of finding a White Knight to lance the doubts of Republicans nationwide and ride onto the convention stage in Tampa as a consensus candidate. So is anybody going to come to dissatisfied Republicans’ rescue? Political science professor Josh Putnam (at the indispensable Frontloading HQ) has pored over the filing deadlines and assorted party arcana to determine whether such a scenario is possible. His conclusion: Technically, it is. Realistically, it ain’t:
Who is the candidate who can not only successfully enter the race late, but who can also marshal the organization necessary to cobble together enough delegates to take the nomination or throw enough of a monkeywrench into the process and still maintain support in the party to win the nomination at the convention? Let’s think about this for a moment. There are people in this race now actively seeking the nomination (and who have been running for president for quite some time) who cannot get on the ballots in some states. And we are expecting someone to come in and immediately be able to beat these deadlines, organize write-in efforts and uncommitted slates of delegates to get within shouting distance of 1144 or a lower total held by the frontrunner.
I apologize, folks. But I just don’t see it. There is no silver bullet. There is no white knight.
So with that put to rest, we can all get back to speculating about a Ron Paul third-party bid.