Writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, Walter Shapiro makes a compelling case that the political press has arbitrarily soured on Rick Santorum’s chance at the nomination in the last few weeks. While Santorum trails badly, Shapiro notes that not enough has changed in this short time period to warrant writing him off. You might argue that the press corps had oversold the chances of an open convention. Or you could construct a meticulous case against Santorum based on delegate tallies, vote shares and the demographics of upcoming primary states. But that all seems a little high-minded. Read today’s paper closely and you’ll see the four horsemen of the GOPocalypse galloping across its pages:
The Republican wagons are circling around Romney, with glowing endorsements from the likes of Marco Rubio, who told Matt Lewis today that “there are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for President” but Romney is “plenty conservative enough.”
His largest financier having given up the cause, Newt Gingrich has resorted to the same fundraising tactics as the guy who walks around New York City with a cat on his head. If you go up to him and take a picture, he’ll demand a fifty spot.
And Rick Santorum today will give what his campaign has billed as a major foreign policy address at the “Jelly Belly Candy Company,” (a Reagan homage?) Delegate projections and conventional wisdom are one thing, but laying out a comprehensive vision for the role of a global superpower in a candy store is something else entirely.