Mitt Romney gratefully completed the long recalibration of his presidential campaign yesterday to focus fire exclusively on Barack Obama after primary voting in Texas on Tuesday pushed him past the magic number of 1,114 delegates he needed to clinch the Republican nomination.
Not that his passing of the milestone went entirely smoothly. The former Massachusetts governor was lampooned for attending a fundraiser in Las Vegas organised by Donald Trump who in recent days has again been raking through the dead coals of whether Mr Obama is really an American. Then there was the embarrassing glitch with the launch of a new smartphone application by his campaign.
It may not be in the same league as the former Vice President Dan Quayle insisting on the spelling "potatoe", but the app launch included a mistake with a word that's rather important for presidential hopefuls to get right. One of its pages trumpeted this Romney slogan: "A Better Amercia". Mr Romney, who chose to celebrate his Texas win not in Texas but on the Las Vegas Strip, tried to look beyond the sometimes hard struggle of the primary process towards the general election in November.
"I know the road to 1,144 was long and hard, but I also know that the road to 11/06, November 6, is also going to be long," he said. "It's going to be hard and it's going to be worth it because we're going to take back the White House and get America right again."
Recent polls have given Mr Romney an almost even chance of winning the White House even though he has suffered a barrage of negative advertising in recent weeks from the Obama campaign focusing on his record of closing businesses when he ran the private-equity group, Bain Capital.
Giving Republicans hope meanwhile are reports that outside groups are expecting to spend an astonishing $1bn over the five months until November slamming President Obama, particularly on the economy.Reuse content