So here we are, political junkies. It turns out that Rick Santorum won Iowa, Mitt Romney won New Hampshire and Newt Gingrich won South Carolina. And now it looks like Gingrich may either win Florida or at least keep it close enough that the race will continue for a very long time.
A few things seem really obvious:
1. Republicans don't really want Mitt Romney to be their nominee.
2. Newt Gingrich is just the non-Romney of the moment, not The Guy Republicans Really Want.
3. Neither Rick Santorum nor Ron Paul are going to win the nomination.
How about this crazy possibility, hmmm? Tonight, the GOP response to the president's State of the Union speech will be delivered by Indiana governor Mitch Daniels. You know...he who would be so effing far ahead right now if he had only decided to run that this thing wouldn't even be close? But he didn't run. Imagine if he delivers what is, from a GOP perspective, a killer response to the SOTU that makes the current crop of candidates look like morons.
Slowly but surely over the next week or so, folks at establishment GOP places like the National Review start making noise about drafting Mitch Daniels as a candidate. The groundswell is then huge, to a degree that Daniels gives in and gets on enough remaining state ballots and wins enough delegates that there is not a first-ballot nominee at the convention.
Second ballot: the GOP nominee is Mitch Daniels.
If this happens, I want some sort of award for political acuity. And, of course, if it doesn't, I still want credit for calling the Santorum Iowa win.
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