A look at this evening's "top of the fold" cover on the Huffington Post is a sad look at media bias in politics. From the "Hiel Hitler" pose to the "hostile takeover" headline, there is nothing but bias in this image. And since when was a five year bid a "hostile takeover?"
I stopped watching Fox News years ago because of the hatred and vile on the network. Sure, maybe it is conservative friendly (it isn't fair and balanced, that's for sure), but I don't care to hear hatred for any party. I only read the Huffington Post to get a true liberal slant on stories for something to compare my own beliefs against. I prefer CNN because I think they actually spend more time on looking pretty and sleek graphics and theme music than they do on bias. (And because they are the only American network I can rely on to give me human rights stories.)
But if there is one thing to be learned from this political cycle it is that Mitt Romney has not won over the media. The news stories today have all been about how Romney has failed to win all Republicans. Or how the base is not yet behind him. And if I hear one more story about how the GOP doesn't have a strong candidate and may have to go to a brokered convention, I may pull my hair out.
Let's look at the straight up facts.
Romney now has 429 delegates, compared with 169 for Rick Santorum, 118 for Newt Gingrich and 67 for Ron Paul. Add it up, kids. That is 429 delegates for Romney, 354 for the other three guys combined. That is a majority of Republicans behind Romney. The other three guys put together can't outdo him. Yes, I've seen the stories about not getting enough delegates and a potential brokered convention. And if that happens, so be it. There's no point in saying "Well, historically..." anymore. This campaign cycle hasn't followed any historic patterns, so we can stop pretending it will in the future.
The plain and simple truth is that Gingrich needs to step down. He has 118 delegates, which in theory is impressive. Except 53 of those came from his own home state last night. He only got 79 delegates total last night. He came in third or fourth place in every single state except for his home state! He's not winning. His money is drying up. And he will have no momentum to move forward. He has no chance of suddenly winning at a brokered convention, although I suspect that a brokered convention would be a daydream of his. He loves history. He probably relishes the idea of a shouting match on the convention floor and the thought of being carried on the shoulders of his men through the room to the stage. But the truth is, if he hadn't been absolutely vile to the competition up to this point, if he were to drop out now, he would make a good VP. But he shot himself in the foot when it comes to that.
No one is more surprised than I am that Rick Santorum is a strong contender. And the truth is, I don't actually think he is that strong on his own merits. I think what he is is the poster child for the anti-Romney vote. I don't believe people are behind Santorum as much as they are against Romney. I believe if anything were to happen at a brokered convention that it would be a dark horse who could usurp Santorum support. And if that person were charismatic and surprising enough, he/she could really compete against Romney.
(As for Ron Paul, do I think he should bow out? Yes. But I don't think it would make any difference. I don't think his supporters would then fall behind someone else. I think they would follow him out of the party. However, I do think in the tightest races like Ohio last night, it would make a difference if there had been one less "anti-Romney" option available.)
So really, it all comes down to Romney at this point. He either has to finally, convincingly win over more voters, or we're going to a brokered convention. He's a by the book kind of guy, so I don't think we'll see any surprise moves come out of him. But if it were me, and I wanted to shake things up, I'd buck convention completely at this point and do something crazy like start talking seriously about VP possibilities. If you can't get the voters to love you, get them to love your ticket. (For instance, a Romney- Nikki Haley ticket? Who could argue with that?)
Just a little interesting moment from Twitter last night. Judging by the surprising number of retweets, I'd say I'm not alone.