Setting the stage

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

April 10, 2012 12:50:53 PM PDT
So the election on November 6 now seems set. Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama.

Not that it was much in doubt anyway, but Rick Santorum's decision this afternoon to suspend his campaign - polite modern-day lingo to mean withdrawing - seals the deal for Romney to become the Republican nominee without any real delegate drama at the convention in Tampa at the end of August.

And the far-right conservatives of the GOP will live to fight another day. Had either Santorum or Newt Gingrich secured the nomination, the extreme right of the party would have won the primary and not been able to wonder "what if" in future elections.

Now, if Romney loses in November, the arch conservatives can still make their case in 2016.

We'll have the latest on the big political development, including a look at the back story to Santorum's departure - his child's illness, not wanting to lose in his native state of Pennsylvania, and his call to Romney this morning - tonight at 11.

Also at 11 - raw fear.

That's what shoots through me when I see the incredible images coming from the brush fires that ignited throughout the tri-state.

The fires on Long Island, where homes were evacuated and homes were destroyed, the flames were fierce and seemingly coming from everywhere.

It was Lee Goldberg who said our coverage reminded him of what our sister station KABC does in Los Angeles - cover brush fires, especially in the late summer and early fall when the Santa Ana winds blow hard.

But this is the Northeast, and the winds are a long way from Santa Ana.

Our reporters and photographers braved the flames to bring you the latest information about the hot spots - and the areas that were being evacuated. And we salute them. We also received some incredible pictures and video from our viewers, and we thank you for them - but we also urge you to be mindful of the dangers when you put yourself in harm's way to get a picture.

That said, Lee and his weather team have been warning for some time that the lack of rain is setting us up for a risky situation - tinder dry conditions.

We'll have the latest on the wildfires - now mostly under control, they say - tonight at 11.

And Lee will have his AccuWeather forecast, and look ahead to any chances of rain in the near future.

And we'll have the latest on Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who has been suspended for several games because of comments he made in Time Magazine in praise of Fidel Castro. It was a political reaction to be sure - from a team that's trying to increase attendance among Latinos; from a team that build a $600 million-plus stadium in Little Havana.

Shouldn't Mr. Guillen have the right to speak his mind? Should Mr. Guillen have had a better understanding of his constituency? Both are legit questions tonight.

Also at 11, we take a closer look at those do-it-yourself medical tests. Are they really a good idea?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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