As newspapers and blogs declare the Republican presidential primary over, Rick Santorum now has two options: go out in a hail of bullets like Paul Newman at the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kidor like Newman in Hombrehelping the snobs he hates. After winning three states Tuesday night, Mitt Romney has more than half of the delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination, and Santorum would have to win more than 70 percent of the remaining delegates to beat him, NPR's Renee Montagne reports. There's little dispute that Santorum will lose. The question is how he wants to lose:

Nice Rick

Santorum could model his candidacy over the next two months like Mike Huckabee did in 2008, The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol says. That would mean "basically to stop attacking the almost inevitable nominee, and instead to adjust his own message going forward to a positive and issues-based one." How likely is that to happen? Unlike Huckabee, it doesn't seem like being nice comes naturally to Santorum. As for his signature issues, the ones he's most well-known for are not wildly popular: opposition to gay rights and birth control. Even if he only wants to talk about how bad the latter is, but doesn't want to do anything about it. And it's not clear there'd be much reward for Santorum if he were to go soft. Romney has made it pretty clear Santorum's not going to be picked as his running mate.

Mean Rick

Santorum is arguing it's all about Pennsylvania, which votes April 24, and where Romney is competing hard. If he were to win his home state, The National Review's Jay Cost writes, "Santorum could theoretically match Romney’s claim by asserting that he won the late contests and thus best represents the current sentiment of the party, similar to the arguments of Ronald Reagan in 1976 and Ted Kennedy in 1980." But, Cost says, it's not certain Santorum will win Pennsylvania, and it's almost certain he'll lose many of the remaining states. Likewise, a Wall Street Journal editorial declaring the race nearly over notes that "Santorum tried to cast himself as the champion of conservatives, like Ronald Reagan in 1976. But Reagan won in late March in North Carolina, and went on to several more victories. Mr. Santorum hasn't been able to sustain the same momentum."

It's worth noting that even though Reagan's 1976 campaign looked stronger than Santorum's 2012 one, Reagan still lost that year. The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson argues all this Reagan talk is Santorum's way of easing into conceding, because Reagan came back from his loss a mere four years later. If Romney loses to President Obama in November, Santorum can come back in 2016, saying, "I told you so."