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Rick Santorum: The Comeback Kid

Yesterday I was stunned as were most Americans by Rick Santorum's clean sweep of the Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado contests. For months the conventional wisdom has been that Mitt Romney was the best choice to defeat Obama, but most Republicans are still not excited about him including myself.  That is why I was so thrilled about the Santorum sweep last night because it signaled that finally we might have a conservative candidate that could compete against Mitt Romney. Here are some basic facts about the incredibly resilient Rick Santorum:

  • In 1990 Rick Santorum defeated 7 term Democratic incumbent Doug Walgreen to win the house seat in the 18th district of Pennsylvania
  • In 1992 during the year where George Bush (the senior) lost to Bill Clinton Rick Santorum was able to win his reelection bid with over 61% of the vote in a redrawn congressional district where registered Democrats outnumbered republicans 3 to 1. What makes this so impressive is the fact that Bill Clinton carried Pennsylvania during the presidential election.
  • Santorum won 2 terms as a Senator and at one point was the 3rd highest ranking member of the Republican Senate
  • After polling near the bottom for most of the primary process Santorum was able to win Iowa
  • As of now Santorum has won 4 contests compared to Romney's 3, Gingrich's 1, and Paul's 0.
Throughout this primary process I have been undecided on which candidate to support.  The reason for this is the fact that I am looking for a candidate who can fulfill the following criteria.  a) Can beat Obama  b) Will promote true conservative values.

I am a firm believer that contrasts are vital in politics.  Americans need to be offered a compelling alternative to Barack Obama.  Why?  Because, faced with a decision between two similar choices people have a tendency to choose the familiar.  But when faced with a clear contrast people are more inclined to change course.  Santorum could not be more different then Barack Obama.  Ronald Reagan was able to defeat Jimmy Carter largely because he offered a vision that was strikingly different to the pessimistic vision of Carter.  Barack Obama was able to defeat McCain because his vision was radically different then that of George Bush.  My greatest fear is that the Republican party will nominate a candidate that with the exception of a few issues is not too different then president Obama.

For the record.....I am not just looking for a non-Romney candidate.  I actually like Mitt. And believe me...if he is our nominee I am behind him 100%.  But there is something real ,something connectable, something ....well - "special" about this guy Rick Santorum and I am heartened by his tenacity and his dedication.

I would strongly suggest watching this video of Santorum's passionate speech after his (now) victory in the Iowa Caucus.  It is very moving.


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