And Your Next Presidential Contender Is...Rick Santorum | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
And Your Next Presidential Contender Is…Rick Santorum
by

Oh goodie.

In an interview with the Washington Post published yesterday, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania made every indication that he would run for president again in 2016.

“We’re definitely the underdog in this race,” he told reporter Karen Tumulty. “We’re just obviously in a better place right now. Our message will be a lot more focused this time than it was last time.”

Santorum ran a surprisingly strong race in 2012 Republican primaries, acting as a conservative spoiler who briefly topped Mitt Romney in the polls. He won contests in 11 states.

He believes he’ll be a stronger candidate in the upcoming election season.

“I get the game,” he said.

Obviously, this was inevitable. Thanks to a fluke of timing, Rick Santorum had a strong showing in eleven – yes, eleven – primaries in 2012, which somehow gave him that message that, given time to think about a Rick Santorum presidency, America would somehow come around. Since that fateful run, he’s refused to exit politics, thinking that, if there’s anything the Republican Party really needs right now, in this dog-eat-dog, #waronwomen world, it’s someone who brings to life all of the terrifying stereotypes heaped on conservative candidates, all in a neat package, tied up with a sweater vest.

As cruel as I’m trying to be, Rick Santorum is, unfortunately, nothing to sneer at, at least on paper. He has a strong showing of volunteers, and social conservatives have been looking for a good candidate that would allow them to “fight back” against a burgeoning irrelevancy within the party, as national attitudes towards gay marriage moderate, and national pro-life movements have taken the more incremental, but more successful route of pushing initial limits on abortion services nationwide. The brand of political animal that Rick Santorum represents is still very much alive and well, and he may, very well, be the only true social conservative alternative in a race that’s started obscenely early. Plus, if the field really is as awful as expected, a Santorum nomination might not be the worst thing in the world: at least it would put us out of our misery and dash any hopes of regaining the White House relatively early.

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