By Laura Ingraham
Now that Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign, the ball is fully in Mitt Romney's court. His campaign can no longer blame the travails of a long primary to explain away polls that show his support lagging in swing states, among women and in other key demographic groups.
We know what Barack Obama's strategy is going to be. Paint Mitt Romney as a defender of the rich, an enemy of women's rights, an out-of-touch elitist who loves firing people, a guy with mega-mansions and a car elevator.
Obama will continue his get out the vote razzle-dazzle operation. Complete with celebrity endorsements and a wife who pops up to sell his accomplishments and her own, on every entertainment platform known to man.
But Romney should take heart because many of us are convinced that voters actually want to see a serious debate about how to turn this country around. Many of the voters who supported Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum did so because they believed each of them would aggressively and passionately fight to restore our national path to prosperity and invigorate our commitment to our founding principles.
Many were doubtful and still are that Romney has the political savvy and commitment to common sense conservatism to get the job done.
So to get those folks to really rally for him, to volunteer for him, to go door to door for him, Romney needs to demonstrate quickly that he will be as tenacious in taking the fight to Obama as he was in taking it to Gingrich and Santorum. He is prone to saying that Barack Obama is a nice guy but well, that may be gracious, but it doesn't advance the ball and it doesn't make Romney any more attractive as a candidate.
Plus, think about it what's happened to our country in recent years and especially under Obama, isn't nice at all. Chronic under and unemployment, stagnant wages, rising prices for food and gasoline. Record debt levels and deficit spending.
So as the President does the divide and demonize dance during this election, Governor Romney should emerge as the adult in the room offering a mature, fact-based plan to restore the American dream to all people regardless of race or gender. The games Barack Obama has played with our money have brought us to a dangerously close position of no return. Game on.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
The mystery surrounding the $656 million lottery is closer to being solved. Maryland Lotto officials announced today three public schoolteachers won a share of the jackpot and received nearly $35 million each after taxes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN MARTINO, MARYLAND LOTTERY DIRECTOR: One of the winners is an elementary school teacher. Another winner is a special education teacher. And the third winner provides administrative support, all in the public school system of Maryland.
Again, one of them works two full-time jobs. Another has a part-time job. And a third has two other part-time jobs. All of them indicated that they would continue. And the teachers said that they all plan at this point in time to remain public school teachers. Not just to complete this school year, but going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: For continuing to serve the children of Maryland, the three winners are "Patriots."