March 21, 2012

A TRIP TO THE LAUNDROMITT:

Mitt Romney cleans up in Illinois (John Dickerson, 3/21/12, CBS News/Slate)

Illinois primary day was a laundry day for Mitt Romney. He washed his shirt in the sink and then took Rick Santorum to the cleaners. The former Massachusetts governor beat his closest rival handily, 47 percent to 35 percent. It was the first no-caveat, everyone-is-watching, takes-place-in-a-location-you've-heard-of contest that Romney has dominated since his victory in Florida two months ago.

The Republican nominating contest could take a long time. So it's probably wise not to clutch the dashboard every time there's a bend in the road. Still, there was something different about Romney's win in Illinois. On recent primary days, he has been able to claim he won the most delegates, but Santorum has emerged from those nights with the energy and excitement. Tonight Romney can crow about having the excitement and winning the most delegates in a state where he didn't have a home field advantage like Michigan or a regional connection like New Hampshire. Even when he has won, Romney has had to say unsatisfying things like "a win is a win." After Illinois, he can just smile. Everyone gets it.
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Posted by at March 21, 2012 6:32 AM
  

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