Wisconsin could be the final nail in Santorum's delusion that he has any ability to win the Republican presidential nomination . Most likely he will continue but under mounting and intense pressure to withdraw. Being a man tugged by dual personalities he will have a tough time making a decision. The Republican voice will tell him to be a good boy and get behind Romney. The martyr voice will be singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" in his ear and that he must continue because God told him to make this race. Between him and Perry, God seems to be 0 for 2 at deigning candidates this cycle...
The fact that we have hardly heard about Santorum in the press the last week tells you that the game is changing. Santorum's only hope is a huge Wisconsin upset which appears unlikely but not impossible at this time.
So the now the November campaigns begin to take shape. In six and a half months voters will start their early voting. High on the agenda is who will Romney pick as Vice President. Most importantly he has to keep those folks who voted consistently against him in the primary state after state energized. Especially if there is a third party choice.
Almost immediately people say Senator Marco Rubio. He is handsome, hispanic and charismatic and most importantly lives in the key state of Florida. Yet, when the vetting process begins he might not hold up under heavy examination. When someone in a short period of time has been a Catholic, Mormon and attends a Southern Baptist Church there could be lots of other confusion in his life. Will the Pentecostals trust him if they know at one point he was a Mormon?
Then there are the "Who Candidates." These are folks that insiders love but actually bring little to the table. Most Americans have never heard of them because they are not the most charismatic people around the town. There are a number of them in the Midwest such as Ohio's Senator Rob Portman or Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniels.
Right now Romney is in horrible shape with women. However the choices aren't great in the Republican Party with folks like Congresswomen Michelle Bachman pleasing the religious right but then she comes with that husband. Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico would also deal with the Hispanic vote and is a possibility. The Republican right would never accept Senator Susan Collins. Can you imagine going with Sarah Palin again after "Game Change? "
So what is a Republican nominee to do?
Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell would be right up on the top of the list. He is Governor of a contested state, a Southerner and appealing. Although he might not have the national reach that is needed to quickly unite the GOP.
The one candidate that can energize his base without seeming too crazy, is charismatic, likable and a good campaigner would be former Governor Michael Huckabee of Arkansas. The Pentecostals love him. Although he didn't want to go through two years of attempting to be the nominee (he might have won) he might give up four months or so to see if he can be Vice President.
He just might be the perfect choice