BREAKING: Newt’s Done

Not a surprise, but after all the talk about pressing on to the convention he’s finally throwing in the towel. From CNN

Newt Gingrich will officially end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and formally express his support for Mitt Romney next week, two sources close to Gingrich tell CNN.

While details are still being worked out, Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, DC where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters.

If a little rapprochement can be made between Gingrich and Romney (the guess is retiring some of his debt, or all of it, is the key there), Gingrich can be a useful surrogate to beat President Obama over the head with from here on in. Particularly on issues like energy.

In any event, it looks like the primary election is over and the general election has begun. The GOP nominee isn’t the most inspiring, but last night he looked a great deal better than he did throughout the first part of the campaign. He can win. And if the conservative movement can get behind him what we’ll find is this is the best opportunity to not just defeat a Democrat incumbent president but inflict a world-class, debilitating beatdown on one since Jimmy Carter in 1980.

And while some of the polls out there have Obama ahead of Romney, you could make the argument that this is the high water mark for the president. He’s been the beneficiary of a long, bruising Republican primary, in which the topic of his record in office has received indirect attention from candidates busy beating each other up, and that won’t be the case any longer. Obama has yet to pay the full political price for gasoline prices which are nearly $4.00 as a national average (and it’s only April). Obama hasn’t had to answer for what’s expected to be as much as a six percent reduction in the nation’s electric power production within 2-4 months, just as the summer heat begins to grip the midwest swing states. The fallout from Obamacare being overturned, which looks likely, hasn’t even been calculated. Major Hassan Nidal, the terrorist murderer of 13 soldiers at Ft. Hood, goes to trial this summer in what is likely going to be an embarrassment for the administration. And there are pitfalls everywhere in domestic and foreign policy.

As Romney noted in his excellent speech last night, this president can’t run on his record. Instead he’ll run on trifles. But even there, Obama will struggle. Consider:

  • Obama tried to make hay out of Romney’s dog riding on the roof of his car, until it was mentioned that he ate dogs as a kid.
  • Obama’s people vigorously flacked the “Republican War On Women” meme, until it was drowned in a sea of bad facts – women in the administration make 18 percent less than men, the refusal to give back Bill Maher’s million-dollar donation and finally Hilary Rosen’s idiotic and obnoxious attacks on Ann Romney.
  • Obama’s surrogates are attempting to paint Romney as the spawn of a polygamist cult, except that Obama’s father was a polygamist in Kenya (and had a wife back in Africa when he married Obama’s mother).
  • Obama is now trying to buy off the youth vote by advocating for cheaper student loans, except that he’s done nothing to rein in the bubble that is college tuition inflation.
  • Obama and his surrogates have quietly made political hay out of the Trayvon Martin case, except now there are multiple cases of clearly racist black-on-white violence which demonstrate his complete failure to lead.

There are lots of other examples. And the difference between now and four years ago is there is a Republican nominee and campaign which isn’t afraid to fight Obama and his people tooth and nail. The Romney camp appears perfectly willing to take to heart King Leonidas’ exhortation…

That’s a good bit different from John McCain, who four years ago gave Obama a pass on Jeremiah Wright – one of the stupidest mistakes a presidential candidate has ever made.

But now that the last major candidate in the GOP race is out, we will have the ability to see if Romney’s camp is truly up to the task.

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