That’s it.

Race over.

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli, Rick Perry just signed a former Romney supporter’s handmade Perry poster — with a heart over the I. Well, over the whole word, to be fair, which includes the I. The point is, it’s a giant heart. He signed his name with a giant heart! And she found it endearing!

It’s over.

Asked if Mitt Romney would do that, the woman paused. “No,” she said. Mitt Romney would never do that.

The heart is charm. It’s Midwestern Values. It’s. . . numbers, or something. I remember a scant few years ago when a character who signed her name with a heart over it was instantly branded as an intellectually deficient bully who was overcompensating for her innate meanness with excess charm. That might be overstating the case a little, but not by much.

But that’s not the worst part.

What’s worse is that now that the former Romneyite has noted this, the Romney control center (I picture them all as Lobot-like figures sequestered underground somewhere) will add another item to the list of Things Mitt Romney Totally Does, Like, All The Time and will force poor Mitt to start signing his name with a heart above the I, constantly, even in situations where this is not called for. He’s the Malvolio of this campaign. First the ties went. Next the I’s. If Perry ever shows up at an event in yellow stockings and cross garters, I tremble to think what Romney will do.

Is this inane?

Yes, absolutely, this is 100 percent inane.

I wish it weren’t what this race was about.