Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Rick Santorum: A Political Obituary

by William Wallace

image from politicker.com

Tragedy has struck millions across the United States, as Richard John Santorum suddenly departed from us (politically) on Tuesday, leaving a remarkable story in his stead. The news has shocked us all, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have worked with him this past year. Mr Santorum started his journey with few at his side, but his movement expanded as his message touched the hearts of many Americans. From Iowa to Louisiana, they chanted ‘We Want Rick’, but now his journey has come to an end.

Before I progress any further, I should point out that Rick Santorum has not passed away and is indeed is still alive; it is his campaign that has expired. Yesterday, he suspended his presidential campaign, opening up the way for Mitt Romney to clinch the Republican Party nomination. The short eulogy above does actually encompass points that are not far from the truth. Santorum’s campaign has definitely been remarkable. I remember watching the early GOP debates in October – Rick was stood at the end of the row of candidates, like some sort of “Mr Nobody”. He was barely given the opportunity to speak, and, when he did, no one cared to listen. Then in January, his bid for the nomination picked up pace. He ran a one-state campaign in Iowa, and it was the hard work and countless visits to each precinct that gave him the first state in the GOP race. People witnessed a sudden surge in the opinion polls, as hard-knuckled conservatives began to take more notice of the former Senator from Pennsylvania.

His message of faith, family and freedom did touch many Americans, as over three million went to the polls to vote for him. He initially had to certify his position as the ‘conservative alternative’ to the moderate frontrunner, Romney. Newt Gingrich fell in the polls as Santorum came to be seen as this alternate choice for Republican voters. Rick picked up Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri in early February and carried the momentum through to Super Tuesday and into March. His social policies were well received by the socially conservative states in the South. However, Santorum’s real challenge was to be found in the states where economic policies overshadow other issues. Illinois saw an embarrassing defeat and, despite Rick’s victory in Louisiana, Romney secured Wisconsin. Considering that the opinion polls had put Santorum ahead the week prior to the Wisconsin primary, the result was a huge blow to Rick and the main reason why he chose to suspend his campaign.

I should also point out that I don’t support Santorum – his social and foreign policies were far too conservative. The father of eight stood against abortion, stem cell research and civil unions. He pushed for the US to ‘bomb Iran’, which is frankly nuts considering the fragility of the situation in the Middle East. I myself do not associate with Mr Santorum, but what is incredible is how his support has gone from nothing to something, something big. Romney was always going to win the Republican race, but Santorum has made it a bit more of a challenge for him. No one can say that he hasn’t proven the so-called experts wrong. He defied the odds, silenced the doubters and ran the most astonishing presidential campaign for many years. So, as his journey to the White House draws to a close, here’s to ya, Rick!

http://portsmouthpoint.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/on-scale-of-dutch-to-santorum.html

http://portsmouthpoint.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/what-would-president-romney-mean-for.html

1 comment:

Comments with names are more likely to be published.