The Spectacle Blog

Can Santorum Keep His Temper in Check?

By on 5.19.14 | 2:30PM

Our friend Quin Hillyer has written a piece for National Review Online which makes the case that pundits should not be so quick to write off Rick Santorum.
 
Although I disagree with many of his social views, I did end up voting for him in the Massachusetts GOP Primary. If nothing else, Santorum is a determined competitor who isn’t easily deterred. I was most impressed with Santorum when he spoke about his grandfather the night he won the Iowa Caucus. His grandfather was a coal miner and so was mine. 
 
But sometimes Santorum is his own worst enemy. He has a temper and it gets the better of him like when he swore at New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny in the final days of his campaign. If you read David Mendell’s book Obama: From Promise to Power, Zeleny (who then worked for the Chicago Tribune) played things straight down the middle and wasn't in awe of Obama much to his annoyance. So Santorum picked a fight with the wrong guy. If that couldn’t overcome Mitt Romney, it’s hard to see how it would overcome Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat.
 
And what if Mike Huckabee decides to run? Their social and economic views are very similar, but Huckabee has a far sunnier disposition. If people have a choice between a candidate who is at ease with himself and one who gets angry at the drop of a hat, the angry guy is going to wear very thin, very fast.
 
It’s also difficult to imagine how Santorum can win over libertarians
 
If Santorum does run and can find a way to display his passions in a positive way, control his temper and be open to views other than his own then he could go far in the Republican race. But those are long odds.

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