Thoughts on the Santorum Sweep | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Thoughts on the Santorum Sweep
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As both John Tabin and Jim Antle have noted (as did Team Romney even before the results), Rick Santorum has no more delegates this morning than he did 24 hours ago. Yet there is no question that Rick Santorum is in a far stronger position than he was 24 hours ago, delegates or no delegates.

More than anything else, it is irrefutable evidence that there is still considerable resistance amongst Republicans towards Mitt Romney as their standard bearer against President Obama. Republicans simply do not want to have their nominee spoonfed to them. But it isn’t clear that conservatives are necessarily going to coalesce around Santorum and as Stacy McCain points out neither Santorum nor Gingrich have the resources to take on Romney one on one and would need to embark upon a strategy of divide and conqueor. The only way for that strategy to work is if Santorum and Gingrich agree that Romney must be defeated at all costs and that both men could accept the other as the nominee if it came to that. However, I’m not sure if either man would be prepared to do so at least not at this point and if one of them eventually came round to that position it might be too late by then.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if Romney shifts his focus away from Gingrich and towards Santorum. Romney did a great deal of damage against Gingrich over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While Santorum doesn’t have that particular association, he did spend more than 15 years on Capitol Hill and became a lobbyist. Romney will tag Santorum with the “Washington insider” label and characterize him as “someone who spent his adult life in government” who favored earmarks and pork barrel spending. If Santorum can respond to this critique effectively and more artfully than Gingrich while simultaneously casting further doubt on Romney’s record, conservatives could coalesce around him. That is, unless, Newt finds a way to once again rise from the ashes like a Phoenix in the Arizona Primary.

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