When they finish tabulating California John McCain will have more than 700 delegates. I don’t have a good answer as to why Mitt Romney seems to insist on soldiering on. (It makes even less sense if he intends to hop over the three primaries next week and Wisconsin on February 19 and focus on Texas and Ohio on March 4. By then McCain’s delegate total may be close to 900 out of a needed 1191 )
Others are stumped as well. His biggest defender raises the 1976 election as a reason for him to stay in, but isn’t it poor form to raise the year in which Republican strife (albeit with a large assist from Richard Nixon’s pardon) did in the GOP nominee?
There are many sane voices calling for an end to the anti-McCain hysteria and recognizing that he is not some wide-eyed liberal, but the task of rallying around the inevitable winner becomes harder when his opponent will be out on the stump and on the air bashing him and claiming he is indeed a non-conservative trouble maker. I am still left pondering why Romney would go on, but perhaps in the bubble of a campaign the pleas of supporters untouched by reason is too much to resist. (Or perhaps he can’t bear to disappoint his new best friends.) I would understand the temptation if he had not been shellacked in California or if he had found a single primary state in which he had not lived to claim a victory. If it were not his own enterprise, I suspect Romney would be the first to counsel against throwing good money after bad.