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Adios, Santorum!

Posted by Richard on April 10, 2012

Rick Santorum has ended his quest for the Republican presidential nomination. Good riddance. Apparently, he was headed for a humiliating defeat in his home state of Pennsylvania. Jennifer Rubin:

The race has been a foregone conclusion for weeks, but Santorum did indicate that the weekend and the illness of his daughter did cause he and his wife to reflect on the race and their responsibility as parents. In defeat he was humble and sincere, and in recapping the race he charted the improbable course of his campaign. For cynics, it was maybe the first speech of his next campaign, an option he leaves open by not fighting to the bitter end and by not making himself a pariah in the race. That he never mentioned Mitt Romney by name or offered congratulations is, well, sadly reflective of a smallness that he revealed from time to time.

Why didn’t he win it? Well, the real question may be how he did so well with virtually no name recognition or money or support at the get go. In part, he won by working his devoted base in Iowa and waiting for others to drop out until he was the the receptacle for the not-Romney voices in the party.

But ultimately his lack of organization, executive prowess (needed to organize a national campaign) and inability to stay on a blue-collar economic message doomed him. He is eloquent but excessively combative. He is well read but condescending toward fellow Americans. He was ultimately his own worst enemy.

Those of us of a libertarian or free-market conservative bent objected to Santorum’s self-described “Big Government conservatism,” history as a spendthrift and pork lover, rabid social conservatism, and comparative disinterest in economic and fiscal matters. In recent weeks, he’s tried to change that, speaking out (sometimes eloquently) more and more about federal spending, regulation, and the financial cliff this country is approaching. But many of us suspected that this was a matter of campaign strategy, not the result of a personal epiphany.

Of course, the same thing could be said about Mitt Romney. Or just about any other prominent politician. Sigh.

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