Everyone's talking about Mitt's dropout, but this seems to sum it up pretty nicely. Seems to me Mitt never got past the "rich guy who used to be moderate in Massachusetts" factor, which put him at a disadvantage when he was thrust into the role of last conservative standing.
In a way it illustrates how weak the conservative field was all along. As York points out, Romney was never able to convey his core passion. Even Fred could convey that, although he failed everywhere else. Mitt couldn't get around his plastic appearance, due in part to the discipline York spoke of. The voters just weren't sure. And when it came to the southern voters, they defaulted to a home boy.
No offense to Mitt, he was probably unfairly saddled by having to say things to get elected in a blue state, but as they say, dems da breaks. What he did at CPAC will go a long way for his career. It was obvious that by staying in the race he would have continued to divide the electorate without a real chance of winning. Based on the polls it was doubtful he could have beaten either Barack or Hillary anyway.
By getting out he threw it over to McCain, while giving Huck an unencumbered shot to prove himself still viable. Ironically, unlike the quivering media perception in December, the GOP has now settled its race while the Dems might wobble on to the convention. I seem to recall someone saying there was an advantage for one side in that... oh yeah.
As to Mac, he said what he had to say at CPAC. Time will tell if conservatives stay home in the fall or come out to vote against one of the two Dem candidates. We know the conventional wisdom as to the enthusiasm factor but there are many commercials yet to air mentioning socialism, retreat, defeat, and blowback (not of a Paulsian nature). Things can change.