Never one to eat his words, Newt Gingrich is nonetheless being fed replay after replay of the famous ABC News clip in which he confidently declared, “I’m going to be the nominee.”

That was Dec. 1. On Wednesday, the morning after Mitt Romney swept five presidential primaries, Gingrich’s campaign staff signaled that he would soon officially concede the obvious.

That Gingrich lasted this long is a testament to what, exactly? Monomaniacal narcissism? In their yearlong search for a candidate more inspiring than Romney, Republican voters settled only briefly on Gingrich, after Herman Cain and before Rick Santorum.

Prone to grandiose pronouncements, especially when describing himself or his campaign, Gingrich likes to call himself a “transformational figure.” The good news is that voters saw through him. Gingrich was eager to indulge — to exploit, really — the party’s irrational but loud outliers. Republicans, by and large, did not take the bait.