Well, all of the remaining candidates in the Republican fight for the presidential nomination had something to brag about, and to worry about, after last night.
1. Rick Santorum:
Brag About: Major bragging rights go to Santorum. He battled to almost a tie in Ohio, after being outspent four to one by Mitt Romney, in a truly remarkable demonstration that fervent volunteers can largely negate a money advantage. His wins in Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee demonstrated that where the Republican party is strongest, unless there is a substantial Mormon population., Santorum also tends to be strongest, and that he has an appeal to the Republican base that is not limited to geography. He came in a strong second in Alaska, and weak seconds in Idaho and Massachusetts.
Worry About: He did not win in Ohio and thus any momentum from a near defeat in the Buckeye State will be much less. Gingrich is giving no sign that he is leaving the race and his vote totals deprive Santorum of victory after victory.
2. Mitt Romney, a/k/a the Weathervane:
Brag About: He dodged a bullet by winning, barely, the big prize of Ohio last night. He won overwhelmingly in Massachusetts. Toss in victories in Virginia, Alaska, Vermont and Idaho and it is impossible to argue, as much as I would like to, that Super Tuesday was not a very good night for the Weathervane. He ran a strong second in Oklahoma, and weak seconds in Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota. He continues to amass the most delegates and to be the clear favorite to get the nomination.
Worry About: Unless his money mud machine is fully deployed, the Weathervane has a great deal of difficulty in winning against a strong candidate, the prime example last night being Ohio where he eked out a one point victory with only a four to one spending advantage. His victory in Virginia, where 40% of Republicans voted for Doctor Delusional since he was the only not Romney on the ballot, is also troubling for the Weathervane as it shows the depth of the anti-Romney sentiment among rank and file Republicans in a key state in the fall, and is mirrored throughout the nation.
3. Newt Gingrich:
Brag About: You’ll always have Georgia Newt! Newt felt that he was personally humiliated by the Romney money mud machine, and I believe he views last nights going away victory in his old home state as a personal vindication.
Worry About: Newt’s on a simple vanity tour now. He has zero chance to get the nomination and his staying in is assuring that the man he despises, Romney, will get the nomination. Time to drop out now Newt, and become Santorum’s chief advisor in media relations.
4. Ron Paul (R.Pluto)
Brag About: Paul’s moment to shine last night was in Virginia where he got 40% running against his ally Romney. If he had been seriously campaigning against the Weathervane, he might have pulled an upset that we would all be talking about this morning. He had a good second place in Vermont. His caucus strategy is working with second place showings in Alaska and North Dakota and a strong third place in Idaho. He will come to the convention with a fist full of delegates and have his speech at the podium and I think that is his goal.
Worry About: No, Doctor, no matter how pleasant you are to Romney, he is never going to choose Rand as Veep, since if Kentucky is in play he is a goner anyway. Rand I think has a big political future, but not this year, and probably not as long as you are still on the scene.