January 3, 2012

How Santorum Can Win

Courtesy RickSantorum.com
Nothing would tweak the left more than a true social conservative, the hated Rick Santorum, becoming the GOP's choice for President in 2012.  I know, I'm going way out on a limb here.

No individual is more consistently against the agenda the radical-left holds most dear - abortion on demand with no conditions, sexual exhibition free and preach-able, destruction of the traditional family unit, weakening of US military policy - than Santorum.

The left's attack on him will be relentless, but predictable.  Nevermind the state of the US economy, the massive accumulated debt under Obama's guidance, relationships between the White House and those who've sworn to destroy our economic system, or Iran's apparent new-found comfort with saber-rattling. 

No, those issues won't matter.  To the radical left, forcing acceptance of alternative lifestyles, protecting the 'right' to kill innocence, and the horror of a religious man in the Oval Office will be the problem.  Record money will be spent attempting to scare people - women mainly - about a Santorum presidency and a religious state. Claims - oh by the way - made against every GOP candidate since Roe v Wade.

Some in the DC media loop will insist such a conservative can not win.  Really?  Let's examine the theory.

Assumption:  Moderates will be scared off by Santorum's conservative views
The problem with this thinking is reality.  People vote with their pocketbook first.  When people can't afford groceries, gas, and the mortgage, someone or something has to change.  Further, Reagan and George W. Bush were both cast as extreme conservatives.  Yet they both won, twice.

Assumption:  Santorum is a one-issue candidate
With eight (8) years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, no one can make that claim with a straight face.  Santorum has proven, with his record and in each of the debates so far, he has a firm grasp on Middle East policy and our critical relationship with Israel.

This thinking also  assumes that Obama can duck his one issue - the failing US economy.  Add cozy relationships with the growing list of Obama's supporters who received stimulus funds, only to mysteriously go belly-up, and Santorum has a lot to discuss beyond one issue.

Assumption:  Santorum lost Pennsylvania in 2006, he can't win now
Problem is, this isn't 2006.  Bush is not the face of the party anymore, and the Specter/Toomey debacle that convinced many Pennsylvania republicans to stay home in 2006, is long over.  The issue was played out and won't be held against him again.  He will win Pennsylvania, if he is the nominee. (side note - Lincoln also lost his Senate seat before going on to win the Presidency)

So okay, he can overcome some of the obstacles the DC crowd says he has against him.  But how can he defeat the Obama war chest, the unions, and assistance from the big-four media?

Santorum is less-likely to make a major verbal policy gaff.  He may upset the left with his views on social issues, but he is who he is and he is consistent.  There will be few times when he says something unexpected or shocking.  He is solid on every issue and well-educated about their historical significance.

Besides, the media will bash whoever the GOP candidate is, just ask the 'moderate' John McCain.  Romney, the GOP-elite's choice, will be attacked exactly the way Santorum will.  Mitt's moderate views won't buy him any less critique.

Unlike Romney, Santorum doesn't come off as plastic or pre-programmed.  Unlike Newt, he doesn't try to be everything to everyone.  Unlike Paul, he's not a foreign policy flake.  Unlike Bachmann and Perry, he is solid with his views and can convey them convincingly.  Unlike Huntsman, he has presence and strong resolve.  Unlike McCain and Bush, you won't be holding your breath every time he speaks.

Sure, Santorum is not the perfect candidate.  He's not the orator Reagan was, inspiring a movement toward the shining city on the hill.  His cockiness needs to become more tempered; less know-it-all, more charmed and optimistic.

Santorum has flaws (debt-ceiling to begin with), but he is the best choice for socially and fiscally conservative voters.  Ultimately the House and Senate is where debt-ceiling control can be best attained.


Santorum has worked this Iowa caucus the way it should be - by keeping it real, keeping it local.  If it pays off with a top three finish on Tuesday, as the pundits predict, it will be well deserved. 

Huntsman is the only one of those remaining we know will be around for New Hampshire. Which leaves Bachmann, Gingrich, and Perry supporters with a choice.  If their candidate bags the campaign trail where do they throw their support?  Romney?  I doubt it.  Mitt has 22-25% and can't seem to break that number no matter how hard he tries.  Paul?  C'mon Man!  Ron Paul's support will not sustain long-term. Even the Congressman admits he's a long-shot. 

Newt and Michele's support will go to Santorum, Perry's may go to Romney.  Santorum will continue to rise as Paul's supporters look for a home and the race should ultimately boil down to him and Romney.

As we hit the heart of primary season, Santorum will have shown an ability to effectively attack Romney, especially on Romneycare.  He has depth on virtually every issue, and Santorum gives the anyone-but-Romney crowd someone they can feel confident in.  Head to head, Rick beats Mitt.


If the GOP elites start to attack Santorum, he could stand to benefit.  And here's where the Tea Party could make a huge difference - uniting behind one candidate the inept, ineffective, and to-date spineless GOP leadership hasn't chosen.

In November, Santorum will have the religious right (duh!); he will have the Tea Party; he will have the independents (it's the economy stupid); he will have the 'moderate' Republicans (as much as they will hate it); and he will have average voters who have seen 'Hope and Change' and don't like the view.

Can Santorum win?  I certainly think so.

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