Is Santorum The Real Deal Or Just The Latest Non-Romney?

It’s always been a two person race. First, it was me against Donald Trump, then it was me against Michele Bachmann, me against Newt Gingrich and now it’s me against Rick Santorum.

Romney is dead-on in this quote; the race has always been him versus another potential front runner. In reality, the main challengers to him were Michelle Bachmann (maybe), Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and now Santorum.

The first four were rejected after being vetted (technically Newt is still in the race but it’s not looking good). Should we expect Santorum to be the real challenger or just the last non-Romney?

It’s too early to tell for sure, but Santorum lacks one thing all of these other candidates have: a glaring flaw. Bachmann and Perry both were intellectual lightweights, and Perry in particular could not hold himself in a debate. Herman Cain spoke well, but it is far too much to ask for his first elected job to be the President (as well as his glaring weaknesses with foreign issues).

Gingrich could debate well and has impressive experience. However, his personal issues are too much for many to handle. Some are bothered by his multiple marriages. Others just get the ego-maniac, Machiavellian vibe from him. Both made it easy for Romney to pummel him in commercials.

Santorum? While his ideas are often right-wing (and a bit unworkable/shallow in my opinion), he is undeniably a good speaker and well-versed with foreign affairs. His personal life and character are incredibly admirable. His wife’s and his dedication to their children, even their unborn one (what some Left Wingers have grossly mischaracterized as his wife’s abortion) displays he truly practices what he preaches.

While Romney is viewed as a nice guy and all (in the “I’ll be nice to you little people kind of way”), Santorum has the blue collar roots people can relate to. Not all of us have $200 million plus in assets, and even though Republicans tend to not be fans of the Occupy Movement, the base of the party can still relate in a much more positive way to a working father of eight children than to a silver-spoon fed Northeastern Elite.

The attacks on Santorum are hackneyed at best. Santorum took a lot of earmarks? What Senator besides John McCain didn’t? Santorum supported Medicare Part D? He was just supporting the Republican President at the time (plus Medicare Part D is very popular among seniors anyways). Santorum is a career politician? Why, because he was just a two-term Senator and spent a few years in Congress? Most would consider that to be about the ideal level of experience for a President.

Unlike the other non-Romneys, Santorum does not have a glaring flaw in the eyes of the Republican base. While Romney is still the favorite to win due to his early momentum, money, and blessing of the Establishment, I would not be surprised at all if Santorum goes on to win the nomination.

Of course, Santorum does have one major fundamental flaw in the eyes of the generate electorate though. It’s his intensely strong socially conservative stance. What has turned out to be a strength in the primaries will ultimately be the Achilles Heel of the general election. Short of a 2008-style economic meltdown, his strong Christian Coalition streak will doom him to a lopsided defeat in November.

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