Santorum’s impossible dream

April 16, 2012


Most campaigns have a musical theme. Rick Santorum, who “suspended” his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, might have selected the song “The Impossible Dream.”

Santorum’s dream seemed improbable, if not impossible, from the start. He lost his last Senate race and had been out of office — and out of mind — for the last few years; not exactly a platform on which one usually runs for president.

Political “experts” believed his chief foe, Mitt Romney, was unbeatable. Santorum played an important role by exposing some of Romney’s weaknesses, but early enough that it will help Romney in the general election campaign.

Santorum was forced to “bear with unbearable sorrow” the health struggles of his daughter, Bella, and he did it with a grace that allowed others who are struggling with physically and mentally challenged children to identify with him. No one could credibly accuse him of being an elitist and out of touch with average Americans.

The former senator ran where others would not, or could not, go successfully.

Santorum is a decent man in an indecent age, preaching to a largely hedonistic culture about old-time values abandoned by many, perhaps even a majority of Americans. At the very least, too many are indifferent to them. In doing so, he attempted to “right the unrightable wrong” and encourage others to be “better far than you are,” even when their “arms are too weary.”

Rick Santorum’s greatest contribution to the Republican campaign may have been to force the now presumed nominee, Mitt Romney, to the right. Romney claims he has always been a conservative, but he has had a difficult time convincing voters who were attracted to Santorum, whom they believed to be the true conservative in the race.

If Santorum ends up campaigning for Romney and brings his religious and conservative values voters with him, Romney will owe him in a big way and that might make him an important powerbroker. He could also serve as a useful attack dog, snapping at President Obama’s heels. Should Romney choose to use him in that role, he could be an effective counter to Vice President Joe Biden, who has been engaging in demagoguery against Republicans in recent speeches.

Though Santorum did not mention Romney in his campaign suspension announcement, Romney mentioned Santorum in a brief statement. Romney said of his now former rival, “He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognize that what is important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

If Santorum reciprocates, maybe not immediately, but eventually, the healing of the divisive primary campaign will have been achieved. If Santorum does the job well enough, he could find himself in a Romney cabinet, say, secretary of Health and Human Services, where he could focus on those moral and cultural issues about which he cares so much. Or, he might even be Romney’s choice for vice president. There have been stranger bedfellows in American politics.

Santorum as vice president really would be an impossible dream, but if elected he would have come very close to almost reaching “the unreachable star.”

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.


Stain 2 years ago

"the failure of the past three years" but no mention of the abysmal failure of the Bush administration.

But then Cal Thomas hasn't made any sense for quite awhile.


Flap Doodle 2 years ago

Mr. Nader, the 1970s called. Your relevance misses you and wants you back.


jayhawklawrence 2 years ago

"One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.... Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be." —Rick Santorum, interview with (October 2011)

If it was up to Cal Thomas we would need James Stewart to play the role of folk hero Santorum who almost saved the country but got beat down by the evil forces of Satan. Like Jesus, he was crucified.

The only explanation I can think of for such a rediculous article is perhaps a few too many glasses of wiskey in the wee hours of the morning while struggling to get out another goof ball news column.


FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

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Richard Heckler 2 years ago

Voting can work

The voting process can work. Do as Ralph Nader has been suggesting for years. Replace 90% of incumbents each voting cycle. Perhaps Occupy can get this off the ground.

I say replace all republicans with green party thinkers and 90% of democrats with new democrats each voting cycle.

Think this way..... maybe? Why do we americans vote in the right wing rich which are supported by too many of the rich to make decisions for the entire middle class and low income?

Too many of the rich want to destroy the middle class so they have sent tens of millions of middle class jobs abroad with no job replacement in sight. Isn't their something wrong with this picture?

Ask yourself why do we voters tend to vote for the largest spending candidates? What good has this choice been for the USA and our local government?

Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : Demand a change on the next ballot.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

Bribery of elected officials and bribed officials = the most stinky of all bribery!


The Buffet Rule

End the Bush Tax Cuts


Richard Heckler 2 years ago

Electing the wealthiest to political office has cost this nation millions upon millions upon millions of job losses and probably billions upon billions lost to retirement plans that went up in smoke.


Introducing the Republican Job Killing Platform Written In Stone: Duped like never before!

  1. ENTITLEMENT - TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets!

  2. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

  3. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

4.ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

  1. Tax cuts = the ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again.

Still A Bad ENTITLEMENT Idea – Bush Tax Cuts aka The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time.

Of course there is this thing about hostile takeovers,mergers,leveraged buyouts and Free Trade Agreements during this same time period. Duped Again!

No one ever mentioned that the New Global Economy proposed by the New World Order was going to cost 20 million Americans their jobs. Duped one more time!


jonas_opines 2 years ago

"No one could credibly accuse him of being an elitist and out of touch with average Americans."

Bahaha! Of course you can, and you'd be absolutely right! Not an academic elitist as you can accuse Obama of being, or a capitalist/upper class elitist as you can accuse Romney of being, but absolutely as an Evangelical, religious and cultural elitist. If you can't see that, then I suspect that, like Cal, it's simply because you are too.

"Santorum is a decent man in an indecent age, preaching to a largely hedonistic culture about old-time values abandoned by many, perhaps even a majority of Americans. At the very least, too many are indifferent to them."



its_just_math 2 years ago

Yet "change" isn't always good. Our current Class Warrior in Chief has amply demonstrated this in a short 3 and 1/2 years. Thing is, many of---app. half knew something stunk to high-heaven with this "fundamental transformation" gobbledy guk.


grammaddy 2 years ago

Who buys their 3-year-old a "lifetime membership" for the NRA??? Is that a pre-req for pre-school,now? And if he should grow up with better sense, can he give it back? Get a refund?


Mike Ford 2 years ago

maybe if this was the thirteenth century and the Lord of the Fiefdom and the King and the Pope all decreed that they wanted all of the American immigrants back in Europe and dealing with the plague and no Martin Luther or Edict of Wurms Rick Santorum or Mr. Sweatervest would be a good candidate.


observant 2 years ago

Thing Cal, as usual overlooks is no right wing nutcase that Cal supports can ever get elected. Santorum got stomped in his last Senatoral election simply because he is too much of a nutcase.


Paul R Getto 2 years ago

"Santorum is a decent man in an indecent age, preaching to a largely hedonistic culture about old-time values abandoned by many, perhaps even a majority of Americans. " === This is, perhaps, the heart of Mr. Thomas' argument. Argument by assertion. Santorum is probably 'decent' but the 'indecent age' talk is code for the good old days (think Governor Brownback's agenda) when men controlled women, the government controlled media and the money masters controlled policitics--the one thing which has not changed much. Santorum wandering into the birth control thicket may have hurt him the most, but I understand why the Senator panders to this audience. Good column, though and it will be interesting to see how Romney handles the old Nixon rule: Campaign on the right and govern from the center. All politicians love to run for office; that's the fun part. Governing is much more difficult as they all find out, regardless of party.


its_just_math 2 years ago

These two on a ticket should be able to unseat Obama.



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