We all know who the winners in South Carolina primary were of course-Gingrich and Palin. But there were more losers than just the other candidates. Certainly on an immediate election result basis Romney, Santorum and Paul are, without question the losers. If Florida runs to the same form as North Carolina I'd expect one, probably Santorum, to do a Perry and depart the scene.
However, apart from the candidates there were a large number of people who ended up on the wrong side of history. Their ambitions appear to have got the best of their judgement as they jumped on what they thought was the Romney express to the nomination.
Thus instead of the prospect of a vice-presidential nod or cabinet post the following folks may end up eating dust.
Chris Christie tops the list for obvious reasons on a weighted average. His flying in to the primaries to be Romney's attack dog whilst Mitt stays squeaky clean above it all endeared him to no one and clearly his New Jersey in your face style did play to, as the inimitable Groucho used to say "The Barber of Peru" (Indiana).
Worse he got Sarah Palin's back up-not an enemy you would want and one who has an elephant's memory about insults. She would well recall Christie's condescending put down of her on a talk back show and really dished it out to him hard today calling him a rookie who got his panties is a wad."
If Christie harbored any plans to appeal to the base they ended today.
Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, a very likable and capable guy makes no secret of his vice-presidential ambitions. Being from a crucial state for electoral votes he most certainly would have figured in anyone considerations.
However, he cast his lot with Romney in South Carolina, no doubt expecting the juggernaut to seal the deal there. Unfortunately for McDonnell it ran off the rails and I would imagine his VP ambitions went down the cliff with it.
Christine O'Donnell is of curse a joke. How she could have imagined that she could cross from being an obvious Tea arty supported person to endorsing Romney is beyond imagining. it just shows how naive she is and whatever plans she hatched went down the same cliff as McDonnell's.
John King and Juan Williams are of course massive egg on face losers. If Gingrich goes on to win the nomination history will include them, not as a footnote, but with whole paragraphs, as a key factor. T
heir intended "gotcha" questions in subsequent debates were slow high hanging curve balls which Newt bashed out of the park and turned around a massive polling deficit into a landslide;
The media, the pundits, the psephologist snake oil salesmen like 538.com, the Beltway denizens-too numerous to list, all came a cropper and saw their coronation procession halted by the ordinary folks of South Carolina.
On to Florida. it will be interesting to see if any high profile Republicans endorse Newt. Jeb Bush has backed off so that shows he is sensible, and that the establishment is hedging their bets. If Newt also landslides Florida there will be a lot of dashed hopes embarrassed pundits and a further list of losers.