Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finally saw the writing on the wall Tuesday, ending his fading presidential bid before a potential embarrassing loss in his home state.
To his credit, the ultra conservative Republican lasted longer than many thought he ever could.
There were certainly some Pennsylvanians, who sent Santorum packing in 2006 with an 18 percentage point loss to Sen. Bob Casey, surprised to see him return six years later as a serious presidential candidate.
But then again, this was one weird primary season, with nearly every candidate -- no matter how improbable -- in the crowded field claiming a surge against Mitt Romney.
Santorum was simply the last one standing alongside Romney when the music stopped.
But the last chair went to the former Massachusetts governor, as most people, perhaps somewhat grudgingly, knew it would in the end.
(We're purposely ignoring Newt Gingrich, who stands even less of a chance than Santorum. Even he acknowledges Romney will be the likely nominee. The former House speaker apparently is staying in the race out of spite.)
By dropping out now, less than two weeks before the Pennsylvania primary, Santorum avoids a likely defeat on his home court, which would have made any future political aspirations more difficult.
He's preserving the Santorum "brand," for what it's worth. And he seems to think it might be worth a vice presidential nod, which Santorum says he'd consider.
That's probably not going to happen, considering he dubbed his hypothetical running mate the "worst Republican" in the country to take on Barack Obama and said we'd be better off giving the president a second term.
But who knows; stranger things have happened. (We're winking at you, Sarah.)
For now, the Republicans can unite behind Romney and turn their attention to what they so desperately crave -- ending Obama's presidency.
It's time for them to shift gears, unite and focus.
Watch out, folks.
The Etch A Sketch is turning.