Every now and then I try to put myself in not just the candidates’ shoes, but inside their heads. What secret thoughts might be rattling around Mitt Romney’s today?

“Long slog, long slog. I’m up for it. People don’t get that about me. I’ve done deals my whole life. One day, you’re close; next day it looks gone. The presidency may be the biggest acquisition I’ve ever made, but it’s not the first. I know the long game. We’ve done our homework; in the end, most of the party’s shareholders will want me. I know how to close.

“Let me tell you, playing in the South was no mistake. Like my football owner friends always say, it’s a game of inches, and we almost won. Second, we got rid of Newt. Eventually, I needed Santorum one on one. People can get to know him better that way. And we’ll get Newt on the team. Shelly will help with that.

“The press will go crazy today, but we’ll look strong. Ann, bless her heart, has a good joke for me to break the ice: She wants me to get up there this morning and tell the press: ‘We’ll always have American Samoa,’ but the boys don’t like it. Probably right.”