As a preliminary matter, it will be incumbent on Romney antagonists, should he win the nomination, to give up the fiction that the “elites” or “insiders” or “establishment” foisted Romney on the party. The notion that any clique could exercise such power was always a red herring, but if Romney wins a majority of delegates it will be confirmation that he, and not his antagonists, have the confidence of the Republican electorate. Whether the pundits who railed against him might then consider how little they understand the actual electorate (as opposed to their limited readership) would be an open question.
At that point there would be no knight in shining armor whom some may look to for salvation. If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had wanted to run they would have. The recognition that “ideal” candidates are candidates who would have had to muster the gumption to run should dawn on disgruntled Republicans.
In short, it will be time for anti-Romney forces, who flourish most visibly in the punditocracy and among activists and select organizations, to get real and get with the Romney election effort unless they want four more years of Obama. (And frankly some do, for being out of power allows them to foment continual discontent in the base and posit themselves as the guardians of political purity.)