Pete S., I’ll take the liberty of a follow up comment on the thread below. You suggested other Catholic politicians such as Bobby Jindal and John Boehner might take the view that “[Santorum] is, whatever his considerable virtues, an easily distracted loud mouth who lacks the self-discipline to focus on high salience issues.”
Generally I like both of those politicians, especially Jindal, who is very bright and accomplished. Perhaps they might not take that view given both of their own experiences with the spotlight on on a national stage. Jindal, who I like and who has many admirable qualities, fell flat in responding to an Obama state of the union, looking every bit the young man. And Boehner has broken down a couple of times in front of a national audience. Relatively speaking, they are nevertheless both very accomplished and formidable politicians, and Jindal especially deserves to be in the discussion as a candidate in the future. Under the glare, on a national stage, however, they blinked. Santorum has stumbled but gone on. He has never blinked, though admitted his mistakes. Just suggesting we should not look a gift Santorum in the mouth.
John, you are right that any candidate who runs for President will bring weaknesses and have bad days and we don’t know how they will do until they do it. I’m not sure Jindal blinked so much as he had to run for reelection the year before the presidential election. Jindal’s State of the Union response was badly received (and really only noticed because people had such high hopes for him – they are usually totally forgettable.) It suffers, as to both style and substance when compared to responses to presidential addresses given by Paul Ryan and Mitch Daniels. Keeping in mind that it was far from Jindal at his best, his response still compares very favorably to Santorum’s primary night speech last week, even though the atmospherics of the Santorum speech (he could go on when he wanted, talk for as long as he wanted, had a cheering crowd, wasn’t following a lengthy address to Congress) were much more favorable.
I think we can admire what is right with Santorum while noting that his weaknesses (which seem partly remediable) look to have prevented him from getting the nomination or even forcing a contested convention and that, considering the other Republicans running, is a damn shame. There is a reason I’m not upset about Gingrich’s lack of political organization.
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