The tug to write about Mr. Santorum is too strong. I had decided last week that Santorum was smart and that he knew he had been marginalized and would therefore drop out. There is so much to discuss about Obama and his desperation right now — but Santorum’s oblivious intransigence is absolutely fascinating to me.
By the way, I stand by everything I wrote last Thursday in my prediction that Santorum will drop out in April. I think he is a smart man. He has fought hard and he has done well.
I use the word “oblivious” because his rhetoric and body language convey that he has no idea that he is standing alone, out in the open, in the middle of the battlefield, about ready to be “taken out” — to quote Ed Rollins last night. Santorum all but declared victory last night after winning exactly two districts! (to Romney’s 75+) Is there a better word than “stunning” to describe Mr. Santorum’s personal ambition right now? Maybe “blind ambition?” It is just so interesting to observe what appears to be his delusional confidence! Seriously.
Following are are some of the quotes I was able to scribble down as I toggled between CNN and FOX News during the primary returns — these quotes are not verbatim, but they are very close to actual quotes, if not precise.
James Carville: “Santorum is like the chicken that got his head chopped off — the chicken keeps running around but the chicken doesn’t know it’s dead yet!”
Joe Trippi: “The fat lady is singing…No matter how you put it, it’s over…it will potentially hurt his career moving forward”
Ed Rollins (using combat terms): “Anytime Romney steps on the gas with media [buys], he can take [Santorum] out…He did it in Wisconsin when Santorum was way ahead…They’ll take him out in Pennsylvania…He won’t be able to hold his head high if he gets clobbered in his own home state. Now’s the time to step aside.”
Karl Rove: “Santorum said that his home state of Pennsylvania is a ‘make or break’ state for himself and Romney — that’s raising the stakes and showing weakness all at the same time!”
Charles Krauthammer: “Santorum said in his speech tonight that it is halftime. It’s not halftime. It’s the 4th quarter, there’s two minutes left, and he’s out of time outs. It’s really over. He should courageously drop out before Pennsylvania…I think the general election started today.”
Steve Hayes: If [Santorum] continues to make these speeches and say the kinds of things he says tonight…he’s increasingly disconnected from reality…It’s not the case anymore that ‘the establishment’ is against Rick Santorum (referring to several specific examples of strong Tea Party leaders’ support of Gov. Romney).
To the question of timing as to when Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul will drop out, Steve Hayes, Mary Katharine Ham, Kirsten Powers, and Charles Krauthammer each gave their answers. They all agreed that Ron Paul will not ever drop out; they were split on Gingrich dropping out soon or staying to the end, and three out of the four said Santorum will compete in Pennsylvania, stating that doing so will be “dangerous” for him. Krauthammer said this though, referring to Santorum dropping out before Pennsylvania:
“I can’t imagine he’ll do otherwise. It would be illogical in terms of his future if he acted otherwise. I do think he leaves within three weeks.” (before the Pennsylvania primary)
Krauthammer used the word “illogical” above. I will add to that “irrational.” As I wrote last Thursday, Santorum is not stupid. He is persistent, determined, and even stubborn, but he is not stupid. Today, he leads Romney in Pennsylvania by about six points. The moment Gov. Romney “steps on the gas” (to quote Ed Rollins), he will take Mr. Santorum out in Pennsylvania. Once Santorum sees this happening, I believe he will quit. If he does not, he will not only lose Pennsylvania, he will have his head handed to him that same day in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Rhode Island.
Before I close this out, I wish to inform all supporters of Senator Santorum, who might be visiting us to test the waters, that we want you to join us, lock arms, and go shoulder to shoulder against Obama to defeat him under the strongest mandate this country has ever seen. We want you to join us now. We need you now. You are always welcome with us.
Finally and with full candor, if Rick Santorum allows his emotional ambitions to drive his thinking, and he decides to go down fighting in Pennsylvania, I frankly hope that he loses to Governor Romney by more than the 18 points he lost by in his last Senate campaign. Why? Because of his desperate lies in stating that Gov. Romney is essentially the same as President Obama — I wonder who is wrong? All the Tea Party leaders that have strongly endorsed Gov. Romney or Rick Santorum?
Let’s project out in time a bit. And I don’t mean to be presumptuous in the least. Let’s say that Gov. Romney is elected POTUS; that he is able to enact a large percentage of his strategic plan; that he is successful for four years which leads into another four years of additional success. We are now at the 2020 cycle. History knows that Rick Santorum got trounced in 2006 attempting to get reelected to the Senate and he got blown away in the April 24, 2012 primaries ripping Gov. Romney the whole way out.
What are his chances then? I believe Rick Santorum is a smart man and wants to have influence in the future.
“That which is given with pride and ostentation is rather an ambition than a bounty.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca