They say it ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings (an old saw, I just read, that, ironically, references Gotterdammerung, an opera about the end of the world).
But forget Wagner and his endless arias. If current polls are correct, the Fat Lady is going to sing somewhere in the middle of the first act of the Republican presidential nominating process, making it one of the shortest operas on record.
And that may be a good thing. Jon Huntsman apparently thought so when he bowed out Monday before the South Carolina primary voting and endorsed Romney:
“This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy of this critical time in our nation’s history,” he said in an address before a packed room of television cameras and reporters at the Convention Center here.
“I call on each campaign to cease attacking each other and instead talk directly to the American people about how our conservative ideas will create jobs, reduce our nation’s debt, stabilize energy prices and provide a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren.’’
Part of the reason a Romney consensus may be emerging so quickly is that there were so many debates before the actual voting began. We’re all suffering from debate fatigue and want to get this over with. Indeed, Sunday night’s questioning of the candidates on an individual basis by South Carolina voters, moderated by Mike Huckabee, was a welcome relief from the debate format. It was also considerably more revealing, not to mention offering evidence — once again — that the people are more intelligent (and less biased) than the media.
But perhaps the most important thing it revealed (or confirmed, to anyone paying attention) is that there is not very much difference between the candidates. With the exception of Ron Paul, who did not participate in the Huckabee event, they are in pretty much total agreement on all issues.