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Santorum Is No Longer Running For President – Supporters, Time To Abandon Ship!

Posted by: John Schroeder at 10:26 am, March 26th 2012     —    3 Comments »

By any reasonable standard we should quit covering Rick Santorum.  He cannot win.

But he is clearly doing whatever he can to attract as much attention as he can.  He is going to use the Supreme Court to make his healthcare point.  This is wrong on so many levels.  To begin with, one of the absolute worst traits of the Obama administration has been its efforts to politicize a court already way too political.  The last thing our side of aisle needs to do is exacerbate the claim.  Secondly, any ruling SCOTUS makes on Obamacare will be based on federal law.  What happened in Massachusetts was based on state law – which lies at the heart of the reason Obamacare can be challenged in the federal courts, and Massachusetts health care cannot.

This is a stunt and nothing more.

But it gets worse.  Video has emerged of Santorum’s less than temperate (vulgar, profane) speech towards a NYTimes reporter.  Not to mention the fact that Santorum is proud of it!  Saying, “If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republican, is the way I look at it,….”  Here is the reporting from The Fix, The Corner and Politico.

Santorum has a point, the left leaning press distorts the truth sometimes beyond recognition.  But presidential candidates do not use language like that in front of the cameras.  The reporter in question thinks Santorum was grandstanding.  From The Fix:

Zeleny himself said Santorum “knew the cameras were rolling” and was using the media as a foil — just as former House speaker Newt Gingrich has successfully at several points in the campaign.

Even Gingrich did it without resorting to words like “bull&^%$.”  Two points of commentary and one of analysis.

The first comment is that this is a trait unbecoming of the presidency.  John Sunnunu, former White House Chief of Staff, this morning:

“Sen. Santorum really has lost his personal discipline and self-control in the process, lashing out at the press, and frankly, lashing out at his opponents,” Sunnu said in a conference call with reporters.

“One of the most important things you need in a president is self-control and discipline,” Sunnunu said, referencing his background as chief of staff to George H.W. Bush. “It is one thing to lose your temper at a New York Times reporter and it’s another to have to deal with the pressures of folks on the international stage and even opposing congressional leaders. And you need discipline. You need self-control. You need to be able to handle your messaging and focus on it.”

“Right now,” Sunnunu continued, “what he is doing with his emotional outbursts, is just giv[ing] President Obama some sound bites, dragging the process out, and frankly, right now, he’s running on ego and emotion.”

My second comment is that Santorum has, to borrow a phrase from him, “uniquely” made his faith an issue in his campaign.  I could spend the rest of the day quoting the Bible and other religious texts as to the necessity and wisdom of temperance, self-control, and controlling the tongue as a part of holiness.  All things I fail at often – but I am not running for president.  How can a man who has claimed God’s imprimatur, via his wife, on his campaign not only engage in such behavior, but insist that it is good?  Was it God’s will that he use the word, “bull$%^#?”

Never before in my life have I been tempted to want to be a fly on the wall in a confessional booth, I try deeply to respect the sacrosanct nature of that Roman Catholic practice.  But I have to think the next time Senator Santorum exercises that sacrament is going to be very interesting.

And now my analysis.  Santorum is no longer running for president.  He is playing the Huckabee/Gingrich game.  He is running to raise his speaking fees.  He is running for a shot at a broadcast media gig.  As Sunnunu points out is behavior is most unbecoming a presidential candidate, but this kind of stuff does play big in some circles of talk radio.  When you combine that with the impression that this act was deliberate, and watching the video I tend to agree, you have a picture of someone using the presidential stage to pursue a different agenda.

He is deliberately sacrificing his ability to genuinely affect the next administration’s agenda, and the future of the Republican party.  If you are supporting him and are serious about your politics, it is time to move on, or you will join him.

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