Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On Romney's "Bad Day," He Wins More Delegates Than Santorum or Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is fond of historical analogies, so here is one for him and Rick Santorum. After the Confederate Army of Virginia turned back the offensive launched by the Union Army of the Potomac, under the command of General Joseph Hooker, at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, Confederate General James Longstreet did not join in the general atmosphere of celebration in the South. Longstreet looked at the casualties of the two armies, relative to their total troop strength, and observed that with three more such "victories," there would be nothing left of the Army of Virginia, while the Army of the Potomac will still have as many troops remaining as the Army of Virginia had before the battle. (Indeed, commencing in 1864, when he took command of all Union Armies, General Ulysses S. Grant applied exactly this type of brutal arithmetic to defeat General Robert E. Lee and win the Civil War.)

The same may be said of the so-called defeat of Mitt Romney in yesterday's Republican caucuses and primaries. By coming in third in Alabama and Mississippi, and winning the caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa, Romney yesterday won 41 more delegates, as compared to 32 for Rick Santorum and 24 for Newt Gingrich. According to RealClearPolitics, Romney now has 496 delegates, still more than the combined totals of all three of his rivals, Santorum, Gingrich and Rand Paul. A few more such defeats, and Romney will have clinched the nomination.