Over the long campaign, as the lead position in national polls changed a half-dozen times (Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, and Santorum all led at one time or another), a top Romney aide told us that he saw the GOP nominating campaign as a takeoff on J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In the books, and later the movies, the Ring of Power was too powerful to handle for anyone but Sauron, the Dark Lord, who embodied evil. The nomination was like the Ring of Power, he said. Each time someone thought he had grasped it, he began behaving foolishly and doomed himself. In early January, after Romney won easily in New Hampshire, his camp had relaxed for a moment and let itself believe that the fight was essentially over, that Romney had grasped the ring and wrapped up the nomination. The campaign began to run only positive ads. Then the candidate stumbled badly in the week before South Carolina. And with that, the campaign went back to negative ads.
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cuba later this summer for the opening of a U.S. embassy there.
- Nicholas Winton, who saved more than 650 Jewish children from the Holocaust, died at 106.
- The fire at a South Carolina black church late Tuesday night wasn't arson, according to a preliminary investigation.