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The Long Game?

To give you an idea of how dismal politics is today, the two top political stories are a) that Santorum’s plan is to deliberately sabotage Romney to make him lose to Obama, so that Santorum can become the candidate in 2016, and b) that nobody, not even the media, cares about the primaries any more.

There is a keen awareness in the party, particularly among fund raisers and elected officials, that Santorum is playing to hurt Romney so that Romney loses. Santorum sees himself as the nominee in 2016, and he’s playing a 2016 game. You wouldn’t continue to rip at Romney and tear at Romney and try to damage Romney if you were playing the normal, second-place game. The normal second-place approach is to rally around the nominee and become part of the leadership of the party. If Republicans lose, just by nature of the party, you are the leading contender the next time.

At the cable news networks, including CNN, the only one to provide continuous primary coverage on Tuesday, the word is out that the presidential campaign is sending the ratings south. Television, in short, has pretty much decided the race is over, Mitt Romney has won, the thing is boring everyone to death, and it’s time, at least for now, to move on. The campaign is occupying less front-page real estate in the major papers as well.