Thursday, March 22, 2012
Santorum's Stick With Obama Instead Of Romney Statement Is Campaign's Defining Moment&Sets Up Palin For 2016
With the above statements Santorum has crossed the Rubicon. Added together with Romney's own man saying yesterday that, basically, Romney will be a blank slate (the now infamous Etch a Sketch quote) once he gets the nomination so he can appeal to the independents, then for all intents and purposes there is nothing to say about the campaign barring some Black Swan event.
We can summarize where we are now with the two statements. Unless Santorum actually gets the nomination he is effectively done as far as any future run is concerned as the establishment can never forgive what looks like undermining the nominee, if that is what Romney becomes. Even if Santorum endorses Romney post nomination it will be seen as obviously hollow.
Contrast that with Palin who has all but endorsed Gingrich and has all but made it clear she doesn't support Romney but also made it very clear that should he become the nominee she will work hard for his election. Even the establishment, except for the Bush forces who have their own agenda should give her a pass on her Gingrich support if she runs in 2016 for her loyalty to the nominee. Smart lady
For conservatives who were looking to hold their noses and vote for Romney in an anyone but Obama situation they will have had their darkest suspicions confirmed by the Etch a Sketch disaster.
For Santorum to now say in effect that why bother to vote for Romney as he is basically little different from President Obama, with whom one knows, more or less, what one will get it is a conservative voice telling conservatives they might as well stay home in November.
If there is a close election, the conservatives who do heed Santorum's advice after considering the Etch A Sketch quote, may be a large enough block, added to the conservatives who would never vote for Romney anyway, in swing states to ensure Obama is re-elected.
Viewing the reality of the Electoral College and current polling in Virginia the GOP's path to victory is very difficult. To potentially lose a possibly substantial block of voters may be disastrous-in the short term. For conservatives, taking a four year view it may be that Santorum is right for reasons which may not have figured in his thinking.
If by his, and Romney's campaign manager's statements, Romney loses in November then the conservatives concepts that "moderate' Republicans can't win (Dole/McCain etc etc) then 2016 will be ripe for a true conservative to get the nomination.
It seems unlikely that Santorum would be that person but should she wish to run, Palin would have every chance.By possibly destroying Romney's chances in November Santorum may have actually done the GOP a favor.