Rich Galen

Anyone who has every traveled overseas will tell you the hardest thing to do is to keep up with events back in the U.S. of A.

It's hard to follow the Nationals, especially when they're on the west coast of the U.S. and I'm on the east coast of Africa. It's impossible to follow the Capitals (in fact we had generally agreed here that the 7th game of the Stanley Cup playoff match with the Boston Bruins was going to have been played last night), and it wasn't until just before dinner last night when I realized it was Five Primary Night for Mitt Romney.

As Ghana is four hours ahead of Washington, the reality of that meant I couldn't write this column at 10 local time, because that would only have been 6 PM in the Eastern Time Zone and we wouldn't have known the results.

Hence, I set my alarm for 0400, asked if I could have some coffee sent up, watched the tail end of CNN coverage of the primaries before the local feed switched to the Chelsea v Barcelona soccer match in the Champion's League tournament.

The match ended up 2-2 but Chelsea advanced on aggregate goals. That's what they said, anyway.

Romney won all five states contested last night and, as interesting because he just is, Newt Gingrich came in last in four of them. Only Delaware prevented Gingrich from being swept by Ron Paul and/or Rick Santorum but he still lost to Romney 56-27.

Nevertheless, in that strange world which is inside Gingrich's head, he is continuing to campaign in North Carolina (primary May 8) saying, "we have a lot of support here in North Carolina and we're going to be talking to a lot of folks about where we are realistically."

So, we will continue to pay for Secret Service protection for a candidate who is only a candidate because he still has Secret Service protection which helps pay for the airplane, provides ground transportation, and adds significant logistical support.

The senselessness of Gingrich's continuing is shown by the numbers.

As you have heard 1,440 times this year, a candidate needs 1,440 delegates to win the nomination. As of this morning here's the delegate count according to the Associated Press:


Romney - 824

Santorum - 260

Gingrich - 137

Paul - 79

That means Romney needs 616 more delegates to have an absolute majority. There are 985 more delegates to be selected.

Gingrich needs 1,303 more delegates to have an absolute majority but, alas, there are still only 985 more to go.

In baseball there would be a little "y" in front of Romney's name in the standings indicating he has won the division.

Watching the little of CNN that I did I determined that I was correct about something I have been saying for the past month or so: The Obamas want this to be a comparison between the President and Governor Romney. The Romneys want this to be a referendum on Obama.

A spokesman for the Liberal organization, Progress for America, said as much when he talked about the number of jobs that have been created (rather than the stubbornly high unemployment rate) and Romney "wants tax cuts for the wealthy" (rather than the stubbornly low rate of economic growth).

And that doesn't even begin to look at foreign affairs like the absolute failure of the U.N. mission to Syria; the continuing issue of Iran; growing war worries in Sudan; and, sabre - or at least missile - rattling between Pakistan and India.

Earnings Season - quarterly reports of publicly traded companies - has just concluded with a majority of major corporations exceeding analysts' expectations.

"Well, Rich, isn't that good news?"

Yes, if you're a shareholder. No if you're looking for a job because it indicates American businesses, having learned how to squeeze out unneeded expenses during the recession, are in no hurry to go back to the "Assistant to the Assistant's Assistant" days when three or four people were doing jobs that one person could handle.

In the hour since I've begun writing this the Nationals won their game against the San Diego Padres improving their record to 13-4; Mitt Romney is still the GOP nominee, Chelsea is still in the Champion's League final, Pakistan has announced a missile test matching India's launch last week, and the coffee finally showed up.

Notes about our day in Ghana yesterday coming.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the current delegate count, a Mullfoto NOT from the Washington, DC suburbs, and a worrying Catchy Caption of the Day.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.