With Chris Christie putting the kibosh on speculation that he might run for president, it seems as if the Republican primary field is finally set. For a number of GOP elites the political and media Establishment types who don't trust Mitt Romney and can't believe what a shaky candidate Rick Perry has proven to be it's a huge blow. Such a huge blow, in fact, that they are at this very moment beginning to experience what psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross famously described as the five stages of grief. Here's how it will play out.
Denial: The field isn't necessarily set! Rudy Giuliani didn't technically close the door yet. People kind of like him still, right? Maybe Chris Christie will change his mind again. He seemed like he left himself some wiggle room today.
Anger: This sucks! Why did all the great candidates bail on us? What the hell, Mitch Daniels? Seriously. Oh, what, your wife didn't want you to run? Too intrusive into the cozy little personal life you have going on over there in freaking Indiana? Too busy snuggling up together on the couch and doing crossword puzzles and sipping hot cocoa and watching your Netflix movies? Yeah, good for you. Go to hell.
Bargaining: Dear God: We know you hate Obama, so please consider this offer. If you convince General Petraeus to run for president, we will never blame a deadly natural disaster on your hatred of gay people or abortion ever again. We know that's annoying. Think about it.
Depression: Screw it. What's the use in trying anymore. Let Obama win again. He'll tax us into oblivion, and set up death panels to kill our old people, and steal our guns, and make everyone get gay married to each other, and we'll get taken over by China, and they'll make all us of their slaves and force us to build their high-speed trains. But whatever.
Acceptance: You know what? Romney and Perry aren't the best candidates in the world, but they're the candidates we have. And that's all right. Romney really isn't that bad. Perry can't be that dumb. It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay.