Here’s what is in effect his concession speech, laying out the challenges we face in a comprehensive and, I think, admirable way.
Although at the moment Huckabee says that he will continue his campaign, I think that he’ll face a lot of pressure to follow Romney’s lead.
Is it good for the GOP for the race to be over so soon? On the one hand, McCain can start preparing and raising money for a general election campaign, adjusting his message and making nice with the appropriate constituencies. On the other hand, this effectively ends news coverage of the Republicans, with everything devoted to the Democrats until someone wins that nomination. Whether this is good for McCain and the GOP depends entirely on the character of the ensuing campaign. If both sides attempt or feel compelled to win ugly, there’s some gain for McCain. If one side plays nice while the other doesn’t, and the good guy wins, that’s bad for the GOP. If the bad guy wins, there’s a small opening for McCain. I suppose that it’s possible that there will be dignity all around, which I don’t think helps McCain.
The bottom line is that McCain’s free media really diminishes until around the time of the convention, although I suppose there will be a low-level explosion watch.