The all-but-certain GOP nominee swung so far to the right to please the conservative base that he stands next to no shot of beating President Obama
So the hollow man has finally firmed his fragile hold on the GOP nomination, in another of T.S. Eliot's phrases, "not with a bang, but with a whimper." In the Wisconsin primary, the whimper was Mitt Romney's margin — a derisory 4 percent for someone to whom Republicans should rally overwhelmingly since they know he will be their standard-bearer in November.
But as I've written before, Romney's will be a grudging nomination, requiring Herculean exertion and Midas-like spending to overcome a clutch of rivals who resemble the cast of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Wisconsin, like the rest of Romney's poll-lurching journey down the campaign trail, was a recurring revelation of his relative weakness and his unconvincing, untrusted presence among the Republican faithful. Nonetheless, in the party's 2012 sweepstakes, it's all over but the muted cheering; the sorting out of the predictable denouement of the primary process and the potential melodrama of the Tampa convention; and the rebooting of Romney himself.