That bizarre "story-line" isn't dead in every precinct of the media, but those who indulge it get rolled eyes and sudden smirks sent their way. "Really? You believe that?" serious analysts ask. "Please keep your investment advice to yourself," they add under their breaths.
This doesn't mean that unhappiness with the the former Massachusetts governor will go away, only that it will delineate the dead-enders and the Obama fanatics among the media, both new and old. There are still eight subsets of college basketball fans still bitter at Ohio's 8-0 record in this year's Mayan Calendar tourney, but that bitterness doesn't erase a single one of Ohio State, Ohio's, Xavier's or Cincy's wins. It just embarrasses the whining fan.
There were good reasons for every Republican who ran to get into the race.
There are even good reasons for Rick Santorum to stay in it a while longer as he is looking at a win in Louisiana, and it makes sense to maximize his potent list of small donors for his future political life and the best interests of other conservatives down the road. The former Pennsylvania senator also continues to bring much needed focus to the fanatical mullahs of Tehran and the butchers of Syria.
Ron Paul has never been in the race to win, and his quixotic campaign is ending gently and perhaps even with a positive impact on his supporters as they flow into Senator Rand Paul's national constituency and the very useful campaign to keep the national debt front and center.
Former Speaker Gingrich demonstrated how to deal with MSM in a way that ought to be part of every candidate training seminar offered by the RNC at any level. For this I am grateful, and I hope his exit will be as well managed as his best answer on his best night.
But even though the remaining candidates might have a reason to linger, the day is here for the GOP grassroots and elected officials to begin to rally to their nominee and to begin to appeal to donors across the board to get on board and catch up to the president's vast bankroll even as a network of volunteers is built in the dozen states that will decide whether or not America steps off the road to economic ruin.
The donors and volunteers can go to www.MittRomney.com. The entire party ought to go and watch Romney's victory speech in Illinois last night. It was a preview of coming attractions, and it was very good indeed.
On Monday I wrote a column fro the Washington Examiner on how 2012 could be 1980 all over again. Last night Governor Romney hit many of the themes that powered Reagan's big win 32 years ago. Reagan had to break some china to get the nomination back then, but the party came together because of the overwhelming, urgent need to defeat Jimmy Carter and his politics of despair.
That urgent need has returned. This isn't 1992 and President Obama isn't Bill Clinton. The fork in the road is sharp, the consequences of the choice in November almost irreversible.
Which is why, whether disappointed or even angry, it is time for everyone who cares about defeating the president to get behind the governor.
There's plenty of time for criticism of his campaign and his rhetoric, for pushes and pulls and Monday morning QBs --I will certainly be taking a few snaps from under that center-- but one of two men will be president in January of next year.
Which one will you be supporting?