For all his alleged business acumen, Mitt Romney sure is doing a shitty job of closing this deal.
Super Tuesday was at best a so-so showing—Romney won the six states everyone assumed he would win, in other words, just enough to not appear weak—and his victory speech, in which he acted as though that was the plan all along, reeked of failure. Though the Romney campaign has been saying for months that they're prepared for a primary battle that will last into June, nobody really expected that to happen. When you're having a hard time putting down a slate of opponents including a warmongering theocrat, a failed House Speaker who makes Bill Clinton look like the picture of humility and restraint, and a dwarf with a comical hard-on for Ayn Rand, your inevitability defense starts looking a little weak.
If Romney wants to be judged as a businessman rather than a politician, he has to start suffering the consequences like a businessman. It's time for wishy-washy Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus to take Romney into his office and give him the Alec Baldwin speech from Glengarry Glen Ross. (Relevant passage: "The good news is, you're fired. The bad news is... we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anyone want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.")
This month's sales contest looks equally rough for Romney: Results from primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on March 13 weren't available as this paper went to press, but even winning both states wouldn't cinch Romney's nomination. Missouri's caucus on March 17 looks good for Santorum, as does March 24's Louisiana primary, and possibly the Wisconsin primary on April 3, too.
In fact, Romney is going to be in steak-knife territory for a while: You have to look all the way out to April 24's Republican primaries in exclusively Northeastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island) to predict a truly convincing slate of wins for the former governor. And even then, a petulant candidate with nothing to lose—hey there, Newt!—will point out that all those states will surely go for President Obama in a big way come November, anyway. One can picture Alec Baldwin standing behind a desk, howling something like "Why can't this motherfucker close? Why can't this silly little cocksucker manage to close the fucking deal already?"
The Libertarian Party nominee, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, will be speaking at the Libertarian Party of Washington's 12th annual convention March 17–18 in Tukwila. Find The Stranger's coverage of the convention on Slog.