I am a big fan of Michele Bachmann, and I supported her candidacy for President of the United States. When she dropped out, I was forced to survey the field. I immediately ruled out Mitt Romney and Ron Paul – neither of which are conservatives. That left me with three people: Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. But who would I vote for when the primary came to my state?
I knew of Newt Gingrich’s record in the U.S. House of Representatives and Rick Perry’s record in Texas, but all I knew about Rick Santorum was that he was a solid social conservative. But where did that leave him on fiscal affairs? So that meant doing research – listening to hours and hours of You Tube clips from the candidate and reading everything I could get on his policy positions and voting record. What it didn’t mean was surfing the internet for other people’s opinion on the candidates. I could get all of that I wanted in the mainstream media and none of those were good opinions.
After tons of research – and I’m still learning more – I’ve settled on Rick Santorum. There were things that I wasn’t happy about, but that went for all three candidates. What impressed me the most about Santorum was his discipline to stay cool and not go off half-cocked, resulting unfortunately in the label that he’s not a “fighter,” or someone that’s akin to “milk toast.” I, on the other hand, see this as prudence – an important virtue that’s needed in the President of the United States.
For Santorum is most definitely a fighter. When he speaks, his passion for the country emerges profoundly, and he is undoubtedly concerned for the future of America. Nothing shows this more than his endorsement of Arlen Specter. His prudence, his loyalty and his concern for America come through in this endorsement. I knew that he endorsed Specter to insure he helped push through the nominations of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. But there was another side of the story that I didn’t know. And luckily, I stumbled onto the piece written by Michael Barone.
The piece, titled, Why did Santorum endorse Specter in 2004, was a piece that filled in the details of the Roberts and Alito nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court. It also told another story of Santorum’s U.S. Senate run in 1994 in Pennsylvania against Democratic Senator Harris Wofford.
On the election Barone wrote, “In 1994, when two-term Congressman Rick Santorum was running against incumbent (chosen in a 1991 special election) Democratic Senator Harris Wofford, his campaign was in the doldrums, even in a heavily Republican year. Wofford was an attractive candidate, with a long history going back to his work as liaison between John Kennedy’s campaign and the civil rights movement, and his early advocacy of what became the Peace Corps. He was and is a very nice man, and when it came to the point that his campaign had need of the services of people who weren’t necessarily very nice he had the very effective team of James Carville, Paul Begala and Bob Shrum.”
Barone continued his story, writing this, “Santorum was in trouble, and Arlen Specter came to his rescue. I remember visiting the Santorum headquarters in Philadelphia that fall, where it was apparent that Specter operatives had taken over the campaign and were running it very effectively indeed. Santorum won 49%-47%–better, he can point out, than any Republican presidential candidate has done in Pennsylvania since 1988, but a nail biter nonetheless. Specter knew that Santorum would be a much more conservative senator than he was, and he surely knew that senators from the same state and of the same party often have difficult and sometimes poisonous relationships. Wofford was a guy he could live with. Nonetheless he pitched in and went all out for Santorum.”
Barone concludes, writing, “In those circumstances, it would have been gross ingratitude for Santorum to have endorsed Toomey in 2004. He owed Arlen Specter. And of course he knew that if Specter was renominated and (what in that case was inevitable) reelected after Santorum endorsed Toomey, Santorum would have had no end of trouble from his never forgetful senior colleague. Santorum may have agonized somewhat over endorsing Specter, but in the end it was a no brainer for a man who at that time had reason to think that he had many decades ahead of him as a senator from Pennsylvania and that he owed that in very large part to Arlen Specter.”
This is where Santorum shows his prudence. I don’t think he agonized somewhat over endorsing Specter. I think he agonized a great deal endorsing specter – even at the insistence from his wife not to support Specter. Nevertheless, his prudence to support Specter was a brilliant move to help insure that the nominations of Justices Roberts and Alito were pushed through. It shows that he has the ability to reason, even if it means sinking his own campaign in 2006.
The other point this demonstrates is Santorum’s loyalty, his gratitude and his love for America. The mere fact that Santorum could’ve chosen to endorse Pat Toomey but didn’t is a statement for his loyalty and gratitude. It’s also this loyalty which prompted him to make votes he’s not proud of making in supporting President George W. Bush. But loyalty is a double-edged sword; it will also mean he will be loyal to the conservatives that put him in office – precisely because of both his gratitude and his love of America.
Any man that will endorse Arlen Specter in an attempt to better America is man that can have my vote. Not because he’s a RINO, but because he did so at the peril of his own election chances and in an attempt to promote the conservative agenda. It will be that loyalty for America and for conservatism that will come through if he’s elected President of the United States.
For his loyalty, his prudence and his love of America, Rick Santorum is the right man at the right time for America – especially when there appears to be none of it from Barack Obama.
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