Rick Santorum, a serious presidential candidate?

Former Pennsylvania senator gearing up for campaign, reportedly based on premise he was right all along

By Alex Koppelman
Published April 1, 2010 6:15PM (UTC)
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Pennsylvania Republican candidate for the US Senate Rick Santorum gestures to a supporter while conceding the race to Democratic challenger Bob Casey in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 7, 2006.

At Politics Daily today, conservative writer Matt Lewis makes an interesting argument


Rick Santorum has some high hurdles to overcome, but don't write him off. Just as Mike Huckabee came out of nowhere to pose a credible challenge to John McCain in 2008, Santorum may also surprise in 2012.

Yes, this means Lewis thinks that the former Pennsylvania senator is a viable presidential candidate two years from now.

It's an interesting thought exercise -- and Lewis does make some good points -- but probably not much more than that. Santorum has a whole lot of baggage. And, more importantly, the economy is likely to remain a major issue come 2012. If it is, someone like Santorum whose identity centers around social, not economic, conservatism is at a real disadvantage.


But Santorum and his advisors have a strategy, Lewis reports:


Every campaign needs a narrative -- it must tell a story. This one would require creativity. My sources indicate the Santorum camp has settled on a Churchillian narrative. Essentially, it goes like this: Santorum was right all along. He was right about creeping socialism. He was right about the culture. He was right about Islamic fascism. The people didn't appreciate him. He was a Cassandra. But now he has been vindicated.

Also, everyone's having sex with dogs. It's the hot new thing!

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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