Not that I want to make a habit of going against Dave Mustaine, but I just can’t quite get excited about Rick Santorum. Don’t get me wrong… I’ll vote for him as often as I can (:-) ) to get Obama out of office if he becomes the GOP candidate — and gladly. I’ve always been skeptical that a guy who lost his last election (running for US Senator from PA) by 18 points — the political equivalent of the Bears beating the Redskins 73-0. Byron York does a great hjob of delving into Santorum’s defeat and what it might mean for a Santorum presidential campaign should he defeat Romney. From The Washington Examiner:
All that hurt Santorum. But there was one more thing that hurt him as well, and that was what might be called the Rick Santorum issue. In the Senate as well as in his home state, Santorum often struck people as arrogant and headstrong, preachy and judgmental. Even today, he believes what he believes strongly and can sometimes become so involved in an argument that he seems focused more on winning the argument than reaching some sort of useful agreement. Throughout his career Santorum has always maintained that his forthrightness means everyone always knows where he stands. Sometimes that means people know they don’t like him.
With all the other factors going against him, the personality factor helped sink Santorum in 2006. Yes, it was a bad year for Republicans, but Santorum’s 18-point loss was larger than any other GOP senator. It was more than just a defeat; it was a personal repudiation. In private conversations with friends, Santorum is said to understand that he sometimes came on too strong for the voters’ comfort. It’s something Santorum still struggles with; he can still be argumentative, still be determined to win a dispute he probably shouldn’t be having in the first place.
So Santorum’s defeat was a complicated affair. He can blame a lot of different factors, but in the end he was most responsible for his own fate. Now, if Santorum’s presidential campaign continues to gain popularity, he’ll likely have to discuss the ’06 defeat more. The Romney campaign will continue to point to it as proof that Santorum can’t win the White House. Voters might believe that, too, unless Santorum can show them that he learned from his loss, and that he is a better candidate for it.
I’m sure I agree with Santorum on most things and as I said, if he wins the nomination I will be all out for him against Obama. I’m still leery of his electability and personality has a lot to do with that. Stiff and cold isn’t the best either of course. Anyway… it will be interesting to see how this plays out. York also draws some comparisons with Romney’s 2006 MA campaign so go read the whole thing.