“A couple of guys in dark suits are going to come see him and say, ‘Look, Rick, you’ve officially come in second and that’s a good thing in the Republican party,’” [Mike] Murphy predicts. “They’ll remind him that he’s young and positioned as ‘the conservative,’ so if Mitt can’t beat Barack Obama, he’ll be set up to be one of the front-runners in four years. Their argument will be simple: Don’t mess around here. Your long game is better than your short game, so get rational.”
But even if GOP grandees approach Santorum and privately ask for him to step aside for the good of the party, Santorum, for now, appears unwilling to withdraw. His remarks on Tuesday night hint at plans for a brutal, drawn-out brawl with Romney, not a quiet springtime concession.