Romney Vows to Soldier on…Maybe

1201273953As expected, everyone’s favorite hairdo won Massachusetts last night. That was the good news for Mitt Romney — not being humiliated in his backyard. The bad news was almost everything else.

Arizona Sen. John McCain claimed a number of “winner-take-all” states last night, including the biggest prize yet: California. Heading into Super Tuesday, Romney looked like he might pull an upset in the Golden State.

Instead, McCain grabbed all 170 delegates, putting him over halfway to the 1,191 he’ll need for the GOP nomination. As a result, and bigger still, pretty much every story this morning is about McCain being the clear front-runner.

But you know Mitt. He swears the campaign is going on. His aides, though, say not so fast.

Last night, as the Western returns were coming in and things were looking increasingly grim for Romney, our former governor addressed a group of supporters at a Back Bay party:

“Ann came to me and she said, ‘You know, the one thing that’s clear tonight is that nothing’s clear.’ But I think she’s wrong. One thing that’s clear is this campaign’s going on. I think there are some people who thought it was all going to be done tonight. But it’s not all done tonight. We’re going to keep on battling. We’re going to go all the way to the convention. We’re going to win this thing, and we’re going to get to the White House.”

You wouldn’t expect anything less from Romney. He may be a shameless panderer (I have cars in my DNA! No, wait, I have the economy in my DNA!), he may have changed a number of positions in order to curry favor with voters, but he’s always remained consistent on one thing: He’s not giving up. If he has to spend his kids’ inheritance to drag this thing out a while longer, well, by god, that’s what he’s going to do.

But, eventually, the I-refuse-to-face-reality strategy becomes untenable. And we may have finally reached that point. Romney, who said over and over that delegates are the big thing, now has but a fraction of McCain’s count. After last night, McCain has 680 delegates in his camp, while Romney has gathered only 270. Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee has 176.

In other words, Romney is a lot closer to finding a job in the private sector than he is to the White House.

Despite Romney’s obstinance, despite claiming he can still pull this thing out, his operatives aren’t so sure.

The crowd [at his Back Bay bash] screamed and cheered for a full minute, ending with chants of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” Even so, Romney aides later told NBC News that the campaign planned a “frank” discussion about its prospects on Wednesday.

Uh-oh. Sounds like it’s time to tell the Mittster that he had a good run (or a run, anyway), but that getting the GOP nod for president isn’t going to happen.

Well, if this is the end, Mitt, don’t sweat it. We’re sure you’ll find a job somewhere. Or, if not, you could always come work for Boston Daily.

After all the material you’ve given us, it’s the least we can do.