It was a process that many thought would not end until the GOP Convention.  And while it is still not "officially" over, the main event is finally booked with the belt up for grabs being the leader of the free world.After months and months of back and forth with seemingly a new GOP "flavor of the month" at any point, Mitt Romney grabbed hold of the race within the last month or so.

While he has always been the front-runner to take on President Obama, Romney was unable to put away the likes of Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and the last "flavor" to run out, Rick Santorum.

I will be the first to admit that I did not think Santorum had a prayer to even be in the discussion, let alone, be an actual viable candidate.  For that, I tip my cap for a very well-run grass-roots campaign.  Unfortunately his inability to gain on Romney's overwhelming delegate lead, combined with disorganization at key points of his campaign cost him in the end.

Santorum had always held on to the upcoming primary in his home state of Pennsylvania as the re-invigoration of his campaign.  Following a weekend off, dealing with his sick daughter, who suffers from a severe genetic disorder, Santorum pulled the plug.

Again, I tip my cap for hanging with Romney as long as he did, considering the overwhelming odds, especially in terms how much he was outspent by the former Massachusetts Governor.  I just believe that putting the two campaigns aside, Republican voters were ready to try to unite the fractured party to be ready to take on Obama, rather than have their own candidates constantly beat each other up.

And while it's all formality at this point, the race technically continues with Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich still grasping to...what....I don't know.

It all sets the stage for the match-up that was presumed from the time Governor Christie decided not to make a run at the White House:  Obama vs. Romney.

You will surely hear the rhetoric ramp up between the challenger and incumbent, as it has already in recent weeks.  Romney began taking a more "presidential" tone in speeches as his delegates lead grew recently.

The next steps will presumably be concessions from Paul and Gingrich, but who knows just how stubborn the two candidates plan to be with their campaigns.

You can follow that with the "official" coronation, and then the speculation about a running-mate.

Until Romney says otherwise, whispers of Chris Christie as a running-mate will linger, but it is something I highly doubt occurs.

This is merely speculation, but Marco Rubio of Florida would be the prohibitive favorite as VP candidate, in my humble opinion.

The story we are running today examines what New Jersey voters think of a possible Romney/Christie ticket, as well as the margin of lead that Barack Obama holds over Romney.

Either way, the under-card is all but complete.  One months-long war of words that felt like it would never end will be replaced by something almost identical.

Except the champion of that wins something a tad more prestigious than just a nomination.