Santorum suspends campaign

Rick Santorum suspended his campaign today, effectively conceding the nomination to Mitt Romney. He went out with class, in a heartfelt address making the announcement. Michael D. Shear and Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times write:

Mr. Santorum made no mention of Mr. Romney at all in a 20-minute speech in which he extolled the people he had met during the campaign and said he was inspired by their stories of struggle and faith.

After spending months accusing Mr. Romney of being a weak challenger for Mr. Obama, Mr. Santorum said only that he would continue to fight to elect a Republican president and to ensure Republican control of Congress.

"This game is a long, long, long way from over," he said.

Mr. Romney issued a statement moments after Mr. Santorum concluded his remarks.

"Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran," Mr. Romney said. "He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity."

I am aware of a lot of anti-Romney sentiment among many conservatives I like and respect. But it appears that there is no realistic alternative to his candidacy. Whatever his flaws, Mitt Romney looks like the alternative to Barack Obama, and that choice is easy.  It is time for anybody-but-Romney conservatives to reconcile themselves to his candidacy. We have to stay in the real world.

One consolation: Romney has proven himself ruthless in going after opponents, and that is a quality I rather like in any opponent of Obama.  This election has to be about his record.