Jim Gilmore has dropped out of the race for president.
Don't feel so bad, he was my governor and attorney general and I voted for him in 1997, and I still needed to look up who he was.
Then it came back to me. He was a decent conservative Republican, more conservative than the GOP as a whole (as is most of Virginia) but without the hint of Confederate nostalgia that you get from fellow Virginian George Allen. When Allen and Santorum lost their Senate races, there seemed to be an opening for a social conservative in the Republican presidential race. Gilmore and Brownback would seem to have the field to themselves, yet neither has developed any momentum or following. Romney has become by default the social conservative candidate, though he is a strange choice.
Perhaps social conservatives are too demoralized or maybe Republicans want to win. Maybe they are waiting for Fred Thompson (who is also a strange choice for a social conservative champion). In any case, the McCain is losing steam, Thompson is sort or in sort of out, and Giuliani seems a strange choice for the GOP. That leaves a big opening for Romney, but it is a long way to next summer's convention.