Santorum Drops Out Author: BobRDate:04/11/2012 12:04:10
It finally happened - Rick Santorum has dropped out. A year ago it was inconceivable that Santorum would have lasted this long. His own home state had pushed him out of Congress, and his candidacy was seen as a joke. With so many comers in the field early on, he really didn't distinguish himself. Other candidates kept rising to the top, then getting washed out by poor showings or lack of support.
Not Rick Santorum - he kept floating just beneath the surface, not really attracting attention, but also not punching himself in the eye. He seemed unpopular, but managed to stay in as others fell out. Huntsman, Bachmann, Cain, Huntsman, Perry... All were held to the light of scrutiny, only to be rejected.
By the time it seemed like Santorum might be the Next Big Thing, there were just 4 candidates left (including Gingrich, another improbable come-from-behind candidate). The "anybody but Romney" crowd solidified on Santorum, deeming him Their Guy. Gingrich was just too unlikeable, and Ron Paul is... well - he's Ron Paul.
So Santorum saw his campaign go through a lot of ups and downs - first he was in, then: "was he out?". He seemed to stay in a lot longer than most people expected. It probably helped that he found a lot of support in the southern tier, and was bolstered by surges in the polls. There was a lot of mud-slinging going on, and Santorum definitely had dirty hands.
As is often the case in politics, though, it was illness that caused Santorum to drop out. His 3 year-old daughter is very ill, and he apparently thought a devastating and embarrassing loss in his own home state would be too much for her. So he did the "noble" thing, and suspended his campaign so he could spend more time at home with his family and fragile ego.
Is Santorum full of crap?... Or is he really doing this for his family? No one really knows what's inside the head of Santorum, but Romney is likely VERY happy that he doesn't have Santorum closing the gap behind him. Romney may have the magic underpants, but even those weren't strong enough to keep Santorum at bay.
So now the conservative Republicans who threw everything they had into Santorum have to decide: How do we stay in this race, now that Santorum has dropped out?
It depends on why they liked Santorum in the first place. What was it about him that they couldn't find in other candidates like Newt Gingrich? Was it his passion?... his tenacity?... his ability to wallow in the muck and come out with a nugget of perceived truth? Maybe they liked "man-on-dog" over "dog-on-car-roof" (it's a fine line).
Regardless, it looks like Romney can finally relax and not worry about any more Santorum come-from-behind stories. His path to Tampa seems clear. All those that embraced Santorum will now have to decide whether they can grease the skids to a Romney nomination.
Besides Romney supporters, most Democrats are happy that they can stop worrying about Santorum smears, and focus solely on defeating Romney in November. They certainly have plenty of dirt on Romney, thanks to Santorum.
Blah people and socialist nigs who never liked Santorum to begin with may now rejoice.