April 11, 2012
By Joseph J. Honick
Read More Joe Hoenick
Gather 'round believers in the great political process who heard the drama-filled announcement by GOP presidential wannabe and still candidate Rick Santorum that he was “suspending” his run for the nomination.
Note: he did not formally drop out of the running. Had he done so, he would have been prohibited from continuing to solicit funds to pay his campaign debts.
Certainly the expressed reason of his 3-year old daughter’s illness cannot be discounted or taken without sympathy for Santorum and his family. Reaction to such matters can only be non-partisan.
But for those who have trod the mushy fields of political campaigns, most know it ain’t over until the spotlights are shut down at the nominating conventions … at least to determine the total teams to run in the general election campaign.
Callous campaigners have to know the former Pennsylvania Senator was never going to get the starring role. He is a partisan-attractive potential for the second slot to the party right wing.
The more conservative wing of the Republican party is going to demand a clear measure of its value to the ultimate battle. It is also likely that Santorum’s supporters will be hard at work pressing party power poobahs to keep in mind they are hardly passionate about a Romney nomination, as much as they detest the President.
There has not been a campaign in a long time with the kind of combination religious-racial and intramural ingredients as we have this year. Nor is it any secret as to why the nation’s most focused conservative political guru, Karl Rove, is ready to unload a massive financial blast that didn’t simply come from so called “moderate” Republicans.
If and when the Republican PR flacks start the talk of two handsome guys representing vastly different elements of the party, President Obama will be hard pressed to figure out how to counterbalance a Romney-Santorum act.
Loyal backstop Joe Biden is getting no younger, which challenges Obama to come up with a teammate who is either as physically attractive or simply more politically powerful. For many Democrats that implies pushing Hillary Clinton to the front.
If that should occur, you can bet Hillary will demand some credible goodies, especially because so many party power folks see her as the candidate for the top job in 2016, an idea that has been whispered about and then trumpeted in recent weeks.
So, does Santorum’s carefully categorized “suspension” of his campaign put the lid on his ultimate role? Not on your life!
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Joseph J. Honick is president of GMA International in Bainbridge Island, Wash.and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2012 Joseph J. Honick