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Quote of the Day

gingrichsantorum

[Illustration by 731, in BloomsbergBusinessweek]

In BloombergBusinessweek yesterday, Joshua Green broke the news that as “Mitt Romney struggled in the weeks leading up to the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly agreed to form a joint “Unity Ticket” to consolidate conservative support and topple Romney.” Green continues:

“We were close,” former Representative Bob Walker, a Gingrich ally, says. “Everybody thought there was an opportunity.” “It would have sent shock waves through the establishment and the Romney campaign,” says John Brabender, Santorum’s chief strategist.

But the negotiations collapsed in acrimony because Gingrich and Santorum could not agree on who would get to be president. “In the end,” Gingrich says, “it was just too hard to negotiate.”

Romney eked out a three-point win in Michigan on Feb. 28 and was never seriously threatened again. While this type of elaborate scheming is more typical of political thrillers, it was real this time. A year later, many of those who worked to build the Unity Ticket still believe it could have been decisive.

My award for quote of the day goes to Esquire’s Charlie Pierce, who had this to say on learning the news (using his standard sobriquets for Santorum and Gingrich):

OK, I was around in February of last year. I saw the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns. And the idea that you could put together a Unity Ticket composed of a colossal dick — and have I mentioned lately what a colossal dick Rick Santorum is? — and the Definer Of Civilization’s rules and Leader (perhaps) of the civilizing forces without throwing the universe over the event horizon of megalomania, never thence to return, is the funniest damn thing I’ve heard about since I watched Michele Bachmann win the Iowa Straw Poll. Not even the way America runs its elections should be this funny.

Really, now. A guy who thinks he speaks God’s will on earth and a guy who thinks He’s the one giving dictation? What could possibly go wrong there?

Yes, it is difficult to build a national ticket when both prospective members are delusional enough to believe they should be president, despite the fact that one of them is a god-bothering nuisance who’d lost his last Senate race to an ice-sculpture by 15 points, and the other guy is on what appears to be an extended vanity exercise cum home-shopping enterprise.

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