The Spectacle Blog

Santorum vs. the Calendar

By on 2.1.12 | 12:01PM

"There's not much that Obama can really use to destroy Santorum."

I like Rick Santorum better than Newt Gingrich too, Quin, but this statement suggests a lack of creativity. Obama would run against the impending Santorum theocracy and turn him into a red state cultural icon like Sarah Palin. That could backfire -- it will certainly fire up the conservative base and in light of the administration's recent HHS ruling, they can ill afford to be seen as declaring war on faithful Catholics -- but it could also help the Democrats recreate their 2008 turnout among liberals, young people, and even minorities (despite their relative social conservatism).

As for the nomination, there are certainly anti-Romney majorities to be had in many states. They are virtually there for the taking. Santorum's enemy is the calendar. Romney has a campaign that is built to compete in multiple states and media markets simultaneously. Santorum does not. He needs to grind it out in states, taking advantage of free media and retail politics. We are entering the phase of the race where the candidates won't have weeks to work a single state. That's why it was important for a conservative candidate to emerge in the early states, while everyone was competing on more or less even terms. Both Gingrich and Santorum have failed to qualify for the ballot or submit full slates of delegates in states they could conceivably win.

I'm not saying it's impossible to beat Romney. Mickey Mouse could beat him in many Southern primaries. But the race is moving in a direction that will make it harder.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From Jonathan S. Tobin, W. James Antle III