WOW, THIS IS REALLY GOING TO SHAKE UP THE RACE IN THE ALL-IMPORTANT MAINSTREAM PUNDIT PRIMARY
I wasn't even going to post anything about Jon Huntsman's decision to drop out of the GOP presidential race, because it changes absolutely nothing about how the race will go from here, but people are talking about it, so what the hell. Huntsman could have won a bloc of delegates if adoring mainstream pundits had a state of their own, but since Punditstan hasn't applied for statehood yet, he was toast from the get-go. The only important thing about his departure from the race is that he's endorsing Mitt Romney, not sniffing around hoping he can get a third-party ballot line, so he's now thoroughly irrelevant.
Hey, maybe Romney as president will giv him his old ambassadorship back. That would be vaguely amusing. If not, I'm sure he'll get a commentator gig on Morning Joe, or some similar sinecure awarded by a grateful commentariat. And no, he doesn't have a prayer in 2016 if Romney loses, because while the GOP always seems to avoid nominating the kind of full-on wingnut the base wants, it's never, ever going to nominate anyone who shows disrespect to wingnut thinking. I always say that maybe -- maybe -- if Al Gore had managed to become president in 2000, the GOP would have looked at its three straight presidential losses and decided that it was time for the party to move to the center. But we'll never know, will we? (Thanks, Ralph!) With the way things turned out the Christie Whitmans and Colin Powells -- and Jon Huntsmans -- of the party will go to their graves without ever coming close to a national ticket. I don't see anything that's going to turn this around.
(And yes, I know -- Huntsman's not really a centrist, especially on economic issues. True, but he posirtioned himself as one in this race, and that just reads to the crazy base as the worst possible insult. In theory he could reposition himself in four years, but he'd have to make a Romneyesque transformation, and that involves not only changing positions but showing how much you hate hate hate Democrats and liberals. Romney, temperamentally, could do that. I don't think Huntsman can.)