Has the Republican Party Already Picked Its Nominee?

It’s all over but those pesky primaries and caucuses. Or it seems that way. The Republican road to the nomination may actually be much shorter than expected. The winner?

Mitt Romney, of course.

This really isn’t much of a surprise given that Mitt is clearly “the next one in line” and the Republican party pretty much always nominates “the next one in line.”

But wasn’t this time supposed to be different? I mean, the tea party is running the show and the tea party hates Mitt Romney. With a passion. Much passion.

But the writing is on the wall…the view is clear in the crystal ball…we can all read the tea leaves. [And other spectacularly numbing pundit phrases.] There really isn’t anyone else that even comes close to being a credible candidate for the Republican nomination. For those who haven’t been paying attention – or are in deep denial of reality – this weekend will make this fact abundantly clear. That’s because this weekend, tomorrow in fact, the covers close on the quarterly cash hauls and the candidates have to tell the world how much money they raked in to fund the campaign. And by all reports the results are not going to be pretty. Let’s see what those tea leaves are going to tell us.

Mitt Romney: Probably in the vicinity of $10-15 million. Not bad. Not as much as last quarter. But hey, this was summer and people are too busy barbecuing cows in Texas and burning their backs in Hawaii (Hi Newt!!).

Rick Perry: Probably less than $10 million. Maybe much less. Maybe more. Bottom line is that he pretty much looked like he thought he could wing it at the last three (or was it four?) Republican debates, as if he thought he was up there with a bunch of junior high school kids. Rick, Rick, Rick…see that guy with the funny middle (and first) name? This is the second time around for this guy. It’s now or never for Mitt. And you looked silly up there. Which is why all everyone can talk about is how fast you imploded. Admit it. Even the Red Sox looked better than you this past month. And that is not a compliment.

Chris Christie: Wait, he’s not even running. You got it. The field of candidates is so inspiring that once again – for the 4th or 5th (or 10th) time – the tea party held Republican caucus is desperately looking for its savior of the week. When the guy who isn’t running is looking better than the guys (and woman) who are running, then Houston, we have a problem. Hence the reason why…

Michele Bachmann: Ever been to Disneyland? They have a ride there that straps you into a seat, suddenly shoots you straight up to the top of a huge pedestal, then just as suddenly drops you like bad pun. Bachmann’s fantasy league run for the presidency ended when the tea party got their last savior in Rick Perry. Imagine winning the Ames straw poll and the very same day going from the top of the heap to just a heap.

Jon Huntsman: Not sure how much money he’ll bring in but he’s already laying off people (so much for “job creation”). Huntsman is going to bet the farm (and at least a half million of his own lettuce) on making a showing in New Hampshire. You know, that place in the northeast US that Huntsman’s political dopplelganger Mitt Romney owns. Huntsman’s goal at this point is to seem credible enough to become “the next one in line” for 2016.

Herman Cain: Cain won the recent Florida straw poll. Yep. Bye Rick.

Newt Gingrich: Yes, he is still running. I think. Oh wait, apparently he plans release a new “Contract with America.” Nothing better to say “new ideas” than to roll out a copy of an almost 20 year old political gimmick. Good one Newt. [How was Hawaii?]

Ron Paul: He won some straw poll. I think.

Rick Santorum: Almost forgot him. ‘Nuf said.

There are some other folks you’ve probably never heard of or seen in a debate because, gee, we already have to give 30 seconds to each person for a response to such mundane questions as “How would you deal with nuclear insecurity in Pakistan?”

So, getting back to the whole “It’s all over but the primaries” thing. It’s become crystal clear that as Rick Perry flames out like half of his state over the last 9 months, Mitt Romney will be the last man (or woman) standing. Kind of awe-inspiring to see a man rise to the top purely because he was less dense then all the others as they sank into oblivion. It’s a shame really, that all those states running the political roller derby for first dibs at casting ballots will have no one to vote for but Mitt. And all that careful planning to dump the “all or none” delegate counts that allowed the Republican party to anoint a nominee after only getting input from three of the least representative states in the Union will go for naught.

Of course. I could be wrong.

Next up. Why the tea party despises Mitt Romney. For good reason.

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