They said that Thomas Dewey looked like the little man on the wedding cake. Maureen Dowd said that the first President Bush looked like every woman’s first husband. Whoever Mitt Romney is, now … the GOP’s got him. There’s no Chris Christie. No no one. Yes, Herman Cain is now first or second in the polls. But c’mon: he’s not the nominee. Newt? Santorum? No. Bachmann has lost so many staffers at this point that she’s personally responsible for a non-trivial level of the national unemployment rate. And Perry? Well, it’s still possible but he needs to do something soon to right the ship, to put it mildly. We’re going to publish a story tomorrow putting together a lot of new polling data that shows that the overwhelming number of Republicans simply haven’t made up their minds on who they’re going to support. In a way, it’s as wide open as it’s ever been.
But step back for a second? Who’s left beside Romney? And national polls make it really clear — at least for now — that Romney is far and away the most potent challenger to President Obama. And now — with Christie out — big funders and party types are moving the Romney. In Florida, a group of Pawlenty supporters are poised to sign on with Mitt. And Ken Langone, chief booster and cheerleader for the Christie non-campaign, is getting on board too.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the race is over. I don’t really figure it is. But the centripetal force pushing people into Romney’s arms is going to be overwhelming.
It’s time for the shotgun wedding.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.