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Rick Santorum Is In

 

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

Making his announcement last night on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News program, Santorum said he had “been to 25 states over the past year… and have gotten a lot of great feedback and a lot of encouragement.” 

Now he’s got to win over the other 25 states.  He’s not getting much help from the mainstream media just yet.  His announcement wasn’t on CNN’s main web page at all, as of 8:00 AM this morning, while MSNBC buried him between stories about wild NBA playoffs and the “confusing” Barry Bonds verdict.  Even Fox decided not to make Santorum’s big announcement one of their featured stories this morning.  Ouch!

On the other hand, Santorum has a long congressional resume, including two terms in the Senate and four years in the House.  That should be attractive to voters who have had their fill of inexperienced academic Presidents and flashy celebrity candidates, assuming they don’t hold his 58-41 loss against Democrat Bob Casey against him. 

Fox’s report on the Santorum announcement describes him as “the third viable Republican candidate to form a presidential exploratory committee,” joining former Massachusetts governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.  They don’t mention the first man in the race, Herman Cain, as a “viable” candidate.  Ouch!

He’s gotten some national exposure working as a Fox News contributor, a position that understandably had to be suspended last month as he began thinking about a presidential bid.  He’s a noted social conservative in a time when fiscal conservatism is the electorate’s most vital concern… and fairly or not, many primary voters are inclined to think the two flavors of conservative thought do not mix well.  Santorum’s task will be to prove otherwise. 

Putting Pennsylvania solidly into the GOP column would make a nice dowry for the Republican electorate.  His campaign slogan, “Fighting To Make America America Again,” promises a tough campaign that will not flinch from strong criticism of the sitting President. 

 His web presence needs work – right now his campaign website does nothing more than harvest email addresses and donations, and you’ll have a hard time finding it by Googling “Santorum for President.”  After the McCain campaign got its clock cleaned online in 2008, it’s important for Republican candidates to get on the information superhighway and drive aggressively.

 

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