Santorum, Paul Out but Gilmore Survives - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Santorum, Paul Out but Gilmore Survives

It’s official. Rand Paul exited the race this morning in a terse confrence call with his staff, and we anticipate that Santorum will drop out of a planned speech this evening, which will be given in suspiciously close proximity to a Trump event, because of course he will. 

I can’t say that I’m sorry to see either one of them go. Obviously, with Rick Santorum, that feeling is shared by literally everyone in America, none of whom can understand why Rick Santorum thought he had a shot to begin with. Sure, he came in second in Iowa last time after a recount, that that doesn’t mean the Republican Establishment was obligated to figure out a way to make him palatable in the post-Falwell era. The man has some good ideas, he was right to run on the “blue collar” ticket, but he’s lost every ounce of public capital he’d earned in the four years he disappeared from public service. Not to mention, his first – and every – act of business was to tear down his fellow candidates, never an attractive quality.

With Rand, my feelings are more complicated. I think he should have stayed in through the debate this week, just to pick up some free coverage, but I also think his campaign was doomed from the beginning – not because he held outside-the-mainstream beliefs on foreign policy, marketing and cargo shorts – but because he didn’t run on his outside-the-mainstream beliefs. For some reason, Paul decided to make himself into a mid-90s moderate conservative, trying to couch his positions in compassionate language, and water down (if not openly deny) the policies he supports (and the ones we love him for). He could have been a voice for civil libertarianism in a sea of hawks, surveillance-statists and anti-technologists. He would have been able to make a dent in the national conversation, even if it got him nowhere near the top. Now he’s out and he’s lost that opportunity. Fortunately, he’ll remain – likely – in the Senate, where he can continue to be an opposition voice worth listening to.

We’re still waiting on a few other decisions. Carly Fiorina probably sees New Hampshire as do-or-die, as does Chris Christie. Jeb Bush can continue on for a while on fumes and six figure donations. Kasich has a better chance at winning more moderate states than Iowa, and Jim Gilmore posseses some sort of psychotic commitment to punishing himself on a national scale. It almost makes me want to declare my support for him, form up a womens-only group called the “Gilmore Girls” and take to the campaign trail. Except the campaign trail goes to New Hampshire and I really hate to leave my house.

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