In a blow to conservatives across the nation, Mitt Romney has decided to suspend his campaign. By suspending his campaign the states get to control how the delegates are used. Romney’s campaign was the most inspiring conservative campaign since Reagan’s 1980 campaign. He just had to fight against too many character attacks by his opponents (Romney may have started the “negative campaigning” but his attacks were always over policies, not personal characteristic or character). He also faced great latent Anti-Mormon sentiments (and overt attacks).
The one consolation is that Mitt Romney is in a very good position for a nomination in 4 or 8 years. I don’t know why Mike Huckabee is still in the race (not that Romney is out, he’s just not really in anymore). He had fewer delegates than Romney and much narrower appeal.
In his official announcement Romney called for unity while appearing selfless: “If this were only about me, I’d go on. But it’s never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, in this time of war I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country.” That is character. Romney knows when to put the needs of his party ahead of his own aspirations. He said it is time for the Republicans to unite and go forward. He feels that either Democratic candidate, if elected, would not fight the War on Terror as effectively as McCain. It’s not a battle we can afford to lose.
I would be surprised and very disappointed if Huckabee did not suspend his campaign or drop out shortly.