The field of Republican candidates for the 2012 presidential run resembles a horse race in which several horses go lame, odds change and new challengers appear. However, there is one candidate who has worked tirelessly to maintain his position in this race: Rick Santorum. The former senator from Pennsylvania may not be as well known as several of his rivals, but there isn't anyone with his hat in the ring who has demonstrated a commitment for government reform more than he has.
Rick Santorum is the David competing against several Goliaths, but his slingshot includes the sponsorship of bills to rein in government spending, entitlement programs, and bailouts. While his rivals talk glibly of theoretical propositions to deal with the corrosive influence of government largess, Santorum has acted, and acted valiantly. He is the champion of the average guy -- the forgotten American -- who pays his taxes, fights for freedom and doesn't expect a handout.
Plain spoken and evidently sincere, Rick is a defender of an America that gave his father, an Italian immigrant, a chance to succeed in this land of the free. He realizes that it isn't only the threat of Jihadism from abroad that threatens our nation, but an internal loss of confidence, an unwillingness to recognize and defend the exceptional nature of this country.
From his perch in D.C. Rick has spoken out against those who want to destroy America because they hate everything for which America stands. He has consistently refused to shy away from the belief we must confront our enemies, embrace our friends and distinguish between the two. In much that he has written since his stint in public office, he has focused on the "gathering storm" and recognized as George Orwell once noted "that the first duty of intelligent people is the restatement of the obvious." Rick knows that defense of our nation should be the first and overarching responsibility of government.
Though he lost at the ballot box in his last electoral foray, he did not stop beating the drum for fiscal reform and a strong defense for the nation. He is a stalwart advocate of traditional American principles and has not vacillated on these matters as many candidates do.
His critics contend that after losing by 16 percent points in his last Senate race, he doesn't have the ability to win a national election. But people overlook the fact, he ran ahead of Pennsylvania's Republican ticket that year. And they overlook his commitment to the national virtues most Americans still admire.
I certainly cannot say with confidence he will be the Republican nominee for President. In fact, in most journalistic accounts, he is regarded as a dark horse. However, I can assert with confidence that if he is the nominee, the Republican party flag will wave with pride. A genuine patriot and a fiscal conservative will give the faithful a real shot at winning the highest office in the land.
Strange things occur in American politics. Who would have guessed that a backbencher in the Illinois legislature who rarely took a stand on any vote would, in under five years, become the president. By comparison to Barack Obama, Rick Santorum is a man of vast experience with all the right instincts for leadership. This horse race for the presidency hasn't begun in earnest yet, but I would not bet against the steed at the rail named Rick Santorum. Sometimes long shots win and in American elections surprises do occur.
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