Running for President should not be a vanity project: It's time for Gingrich and Paul to exit gracefully

There was a brief hint yesterday that Newt Gingrich was preparing to drop his campaign for the Republican nomination. That has been emphatically denied by Gingrich’s staff who now refers to the momentary cancellation of Gingrich’s NC campaign events as a “communications glitch.” But with his campaign now over $4 million in debt it is, in my opinion, long past time for him to bow out and get behind the man who is now quite clearly going to be our nominee for President.

Of course, that would require Gingrich to not be viewing the presidency as a vanity plate.

Make no mistake, I believe Gingrich brings some powerful talents and experience to the table in this race and I was completely prepared to support him if he were nominated. But it is now painfully obvious that he lacks the support to get the nomination sewed up and that realization is being expressed in the lack of donated funds, hence the debt level he’s carrying. As this process has gone on I can see that most of my fellow Republicans have correctly framed the decision of which candidate to support as not a matter of whether Gingrich is “more conservative” than Romney but rather is Romney more conservative than Obama.

It’s time for Gingrich to lay this quest aside. He’s continuing to rack up debt and there is just no way he’s going to suddenly shoot past Romney and take the nomination. His only hope for that is at a brokered convention in August and while political junkies and party wonks might find that thought thrilling it’s just not going to happen. It would also be disastrously expensive, both in terms of money better spent articulating our message to the American people and in time spent fighting each other over the 20% we disagree on rather than fighting Obama on the 90%.

And I’m really sorry to the Ron Paul supporters but it’s time for Congressman Paul to call it a day as well. There are positions Paul has that I like a lot but even if I agreed with him 100% (which I don’t) he simply doesn’t have the support across the electorate to carry the day. And we have got to have a candidate that can do that. I would certainly support Ron Paul if he were the nominee and I wouldn’t be holding my nose while I did. But his stated positions regarding foreign policy and a general belief, expressed in much of his financial commentary, that the US could basically become isolationist again just comes across so badly that I can’t see how he could turn the opinions of the public to supporting him. At least, not in the time he has left.

We have already seen how badly Obama’s campaign is flailing now that the bulk of our focus is turned toward him and the abject failure he’s been in office. We need to not just keep that up, we need to step it up. And to do that we need to be unified, to direct our efforts toward pointing out the shortcomings and wrong decisions made by this current administration. It’s time to stop the Primary season. Misters Gingrich and Paul should gracefully step aside.