How is Mitt Romney like Ohio State? Well, he’s the front-runner, well-funded, and expected to crush his opponents every time. Anything less than a complete drubbing is viewed as disappointing. And, as a result, Romney’s winning in Ohio isn’t really viewed as a win at all, because it wasn’t as pretty as the pundits thought it should be. Winning most of the “Super Tuesday” contests isn’t good enough, either, because with the campaign funds and ad buys the Romneyites have at their command, only complete, pulverizing obliteration of their opponents is acceptable.
Mr. Romney, this is your introduction to college sports at a school like The Ohio State University! At schools like Ohio State, just winning isn’t enough. When you play Santorum U. or Gingrich College, you’re expected to kick their butts six ways to Sunday and beat them into oblivion. If you don’t — if the outcome is in doubt until, say, the late third quarter — fans begin to question whether you have the “killer instinct” and can do what is necessary to keep Ohio State atop the heap.
So get used to it, Mr. Romney. If you are going to be the front-runner, you must shoulder and bear the front-runner’s expectations, and understand that when a complete thrashing is expected, a simple victory is not enough. But you must also understand that just winning, somehow, eventually is its own reward. Just like the 2002 Buckeyes, beating your opponent, game after game, eventually puts you in the position to play for the ultimate prize.