OK, so the South Carolina GOP primary is history.
And here are the ten big takeaways:
1) America is not a monarchy. We don’t “elect” kings, heirs to the throne or the next son, daughter (or wife) in line. Hillary Clinton, take note.
2) The Citizens United decision notwithstanding (Aren’t you tired of hearing about that case?) candidates can’t buy election. Money may be the mother’s milk of politics but it’s far from the whole diet.
3) For better or worse, the popular culture and politics are now fully immeshed and those who do not recognize this proceed at their own peril. You can no longer run for national office without registering in the pop world. You almost have to be a be a pop culture phenom, if not a certifiable star.
4) Donald Trump is (and has been for some time) a master of modern media manipulation. He has diligently cultivated all media types no matter their politics. This serves him well.
5) Despite his steadfast appeals to grassroots evangelicals, Ted Cruz did not win a single county in South Carolina. If he can’t do better than this in a state like South Carolina, where will he win down the road?
6) Marco Rubio is this campaign’s Happy Warrior. Yes, he’s very articulate and generally upbeat and positive but he’s also helped by his ready grin, his gleaming choppers and his winsome charm. Still, that may not be enough.
7) Momentum is important and right now Trump has the momentum.
8) All polls of possible matchups between GOP nominees and Hillary or Bernie are, at this point, irrelevant and should not necessarily be taken seriously. Just consider where Bernie and The Donald were a few months ago. This is a crazy year.
9) Carson and Kasich should drop out. Now.
10) A “Stop Trump” effort will backfire. Only an appealing, positive, focused, inclusive, forward-thinking movement will suffice. That leaves Rubio.