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N2K Presidential Race: The Santorum Summit N2K Presidential Race: The Santorum Summit

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CAMPAIGN 2012

N2K Presidential Race: The Santorum Summit

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Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, wipes lipstick off his face after kissing him at a campaign rally in Zanesville, Ohio, Monday, March 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Rick Santorum is reportedly “reengineering” his campaign after losing a spate of primaries and, worse, being ruled down for the count by the purported cognoscenti.

But if today’s meeting with conservative leaders and Santorum devotees didn’t touch on withdrawal plans, as attendees insisted it did not, is there another method the former senator could try to shake things up as dramatically? Unlikely.

Momentum in politics is a difficult thing to turn, and conventional wisdom may be worse. After weeks of hedging its bets -- and, let’s be honest, sneakily praying to the ghost of R.W. Apple Jr. for a brokered convention -- the political press has purchased wholesale Mitt Romney campaign’s argument that the nomination is irretrievably his.

Even without the tidy irony of the press now functioning as an in-kind asset to the Romney campaign, Santorum would have little shot at completing his always-unlikely takeover of the race. If there’s an argument to be effectively made against Romney’s candidacy, Santorum, according to the evidence itself, has not made it.

-- Jim O'Sullivan
@JOSullivanNatJo 

NATIONAL JOURNAL
’S PRIMARY REPORT

New World for Romney, the All-But-Certain Nominee
[Associated Press, 4/5/12] Both in rhetoric and operations, the transition from the primary season to the general election campaign is under way for Mitt Romney, even though he's still only halfway to the nomination.

Obama Campaign Takes Aim at Report On Romney's Bain Holdings
[National Journal, 4/5/12] A Washington Post report that Romney declined ot disclose a number of his financial holdings incited a caustic back-and-forth between the Obama and Romney campaigns on Romney's financial disclosures.

 

Report: Santorum to 'Reengineer' Campaign, Make 'Significant' Changes
[National Review, 4/5/12] A veteran conservative activist and top Santorum supporter tells National Review Online that Santorum is “reengineering” his campaign. “We’ve got to do things different,” Richard Viguerie said. "...Everyone recognizes that, from the candidate on down.” He added that he does not expect Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race.

Mitt's New Adviser Lobbied for National Mandate
[Washington Examiner, 4/5/12] Ed Gillespie, Romney's new adviser, lobbied for the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform in 2007, working to get an individual mandate and an employer mandate passed.

Rep. Ron Paul Has Missed 92 Percent of House Votes in 2012
[The Hill, 4/5/12] While campaigning for president, Paul missed a large majority of House votes. But he's retiring this year, so his inaction in the House isn't likely to affect his political standing.

 

Independents Are Abandoning Romney (Or Not)
[Washington Post, 4/5/12] A new poll shows Romney down with independents 10 points since last October, prompting Democrats to trumpet this as good news for Romney while Republicans brush the poll aside as the result of a hard-fought GOP primary race.

Rick Santorum’s Pennsylvania Primary Problem
[Politico, 4/5/12] Everybody -- even Santorum -- knows it: Pennsylvania is a must-win for him. But with poll numbers showing his lead either shrinking or nonexisistent in his home state, Santorum's campaign is becoming increasingly concerned about the likely outcome of the state's April 24 primary.

Political Insiders Poll
[National Journal, 4/5/12] A majority of National Journal's political insiders believe Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would be the strongest GOP choice for vice president. Rubio, however, has repeatedly said he won't be VP.

Gingrich's Think Tank Files for Bankruptcy
[Atlanta Business Chronicle, 4/5/12] The Center for Health Transformation, Gingrich’s health care think tank, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Through the center, Gingrich famously provided advice to mortgage-lending giant Freddie Mac, for which the former House speaker has received much criticism throughout the Republican presidential race.

The Hispanic Gap 
[National Journal, 4/5/12] The recession altered the way Americans view government, the delegations that head to Congress, and the makeup of the electorate -- particularly among Hispanics. National Journal’s Reid Wilson writes that even as the Hispanic population has boomed, the rate of Hispanic voter-participation has not kept pace.

Santorum Benefits From Staying in GOP Race
[CNN, 4/5/12] It may be hurting the GOP, but Tom Cohen writes that Santorum's persistence in the primary race is helping the former Pennsylvania senator. Santorum's persistence is keeping media attention on him and supporting his campaign narrative.

 

Romney Predicts Victory in Pennsylvania… in November
[National Journal, 4/5/12] As he travels across the home state of his GOP rival, an increasingly confident Mitt Romney looked past the Keystone State's April 24 primary and predicted victory in November.

Paul Ryan Becomes Campaign Focus
[New York Times, 4/4/12] With Romney on a steady march to the GOP nomination after a sweep of three primaries and a pivot to attacking the president, both he and Obama are seizing on the GOP House budget, and its ambitious young architect, as a defining issue of the unfolding campaign.

Obama Camp Sharpens Attack on Romney in New Ad  
[National Journal, 4/5/12] President Obama’s reelection effort on Wednesday launched its most direct attack yet on Romney with a stinging Web video that scrutinizes the GOP front-runner’s claims about the president. The video marks a turning point in this campaign cycle: It is the first Obama ad to attack the former Massachusetts governor directly.

Cantor Comment Potentially Undercuts Romney Attack Line
[MSNBC, 4/5/12] House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave a rare bit of praise to President Obama today when he said that the president agreed with him that the private sector "is the job generator in this country." That's contrary to what Romney's been saying on the campaign trail.

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Not So Fast on Ryan Comparisons to Newt
[National Journal, 4/4/12] Nostalgia for Bill Clinton’s easy reelection victory in 1996 helps explain why so many Democrats are delighted at the president’s full-throated attack on Paul Ryan’s budget. But Democrats need to temper their enthusiasm just a bit: Paul Ryan is no Newt Gingrich.

Five Ways for Romney to Unify the GOP 
[Daily Beast, 4/5/12] Romney is looking like a lock as the Republican presidential nominee, but how can he get the whole party behind him? From building a relationship with Speaker John Boehner to courting the conservative press, Republican strategist Rich Galen offers a to-do list.

Romney Tries to Turn Tables on Obama
[National Journal, 4/4/12] As Romney pivots toward the general election, he hints at a major part of his strategy to unseat Obama. And it seems he has decided that the best defense is a good offense: He has thrown the president’s own vulnerabilities on flip-flopping and crippling entitlements back in his face.

Obama's Organizational Advantage on Full Display in N.H.
[Real Clear Politics, 4/5/12] Mitt Romney packed up and moved on from New Hampshire after winning there, but Obama's reelection team has been building an organization in that state since October.

Santorum on Pennsylvania: 'We Have to Win Here'
[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/5/12]  Santorum took a stand in his home state of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, making a pitch to blue-collar voters in the Keystone State's conservative heartland. 

Daley on Romney: 'Being President is Not Analogous to Being CEO'
[Chicago Sun-Times, 4/5/12] Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley shredded Romney’s private-sector experience in an interview with Lynn Sweet. Daley, a business executive, said that Romney's CEO resume has “no relevance whatsoever to the modern presidency.”

Christian Conservatives Weighing Santorum's Chances
[Politico, 4/4/12] Evangelicals and other conservative Christians have helped buoy Santorum’s campaign so far, but with the tough loss in Wisconsin, some leaders among this demographic are conceding the race is nearing an end.

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