Yesterday was primary election day in Texas. For those who haven't followed every single day of my very exciting life, my family lived in Dallas from 1991 to 1998. The Lad went to the University of Texas at Austin and I really like smoked brisket.
I also worked for U.S Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison a few years back so I've kept up my Lone Star creds.
Romney, as you will have heard 1,144 times by now, has clinched the required delegates to be the official nominee of the Republican Party to run against Barack Obama in the November election for President.
When this process started this past January 3 in Iowa, it looked like it was possible that Romney could run the table early and take a break before the general election cycle started.
Romney was declared the winner in Iowa on election night by eight votes.
About seven years later, when the Iowa GOP recounted the votes that were still available for counting (one precinct's votes were lost and are presumed orbiting in the Ort Cloud), it turned out that Rick Santorum had won by 34 votes.
Over the next several months Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Santorum took turns leading in the polls and winning caucuses or primaries, but through it all there was a sense of inevitability that sooner or later this night would happen and Romney would be the nominee.
A few days before the Pennsylvania primary (which was held on April 24), Rick Santorum bowed out of the race. I said at the time, he had done too well to stay in.
If Santorum remained in the race he would have been expected to win Pennsylvania, so even if he did it is not likely he would have gotten major bounce and, thus, he wouldn't have had enough money to make a real play fors delegates in the upcoming primaries.
If he remained in the race and lost Pennsylvania Santorum would be oh-for-his-last-two races there (including having been beaten by about 18 percentage points in his re-election bid for Senator).
Gingrich finally suspended his campaign in early May after coming in fourth in a bunch primaries largely because there were only four people still left in the game. At some point Gingrich recognized that losing to Ron Paul in state after state was no way to boost speaking fees.
Ron Paul, for his part, has never said he's out of the race, but did say he would no longer actively campaign. His followers have been working state conventions and hijacking some delegates, but it's not clear to what end.
As of about 10 PM last night, Romney had about 70 percent of the vote which was enough to claim all of Texas' delegates and the nomination.
I - and many other long-time watchers of this process - said way back in the beginning that Romney had learned a lot in losing to McCain four years ago and had re-tooled his campaign to be ready to run a marathon.
None of the other candidates had the staff, the money, or the knowledge to be able to function more than one-state-at-a -time.
Over the course of this five-or-so month process the Romney team has been able to test their multi-state systems. The senior leadership knows who can manage a statewide campaign, who can handle the press in a swing state; who can raise the money to keep the campaign moving forward.
As of last night, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Barack Obama had a scant two percentage point lead over Mitt Romney. That is not where an incumbent President wants to be.
Polls in May are not predictive of what will be happening in November.
Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Greece, Spain, California, and Facebook. They are predictive of what will be happening in November and none of those signs are good for Obama.
Ok, not Facebook. As of this writing, Facebook had lost about 25 percent of its value since its highly hyped initial public offering on May 18. I am using Facebook as a metaphor for Obama's first term: Highly touted. Enormous interest. Massive promise.
The general election period has now begun. It is fitting that it began in Texas.