Metropolitik: Rick Santorum chose the easy way out

2bc2e5207fee80703c3cd943f3a0d25b
SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

For complaints, suggestions and digital attaboys, e-mail us at brayden.simms@metro.us.

Well, that’s over. In the end, Rick Santorum, who ended his long-shot campaign Tuesday at a surprise press conference in Gettysburg, Pa. chose the easy way out.

“We made a decision over the weekend,” Santorum said, “that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting.” He pointedly failed to mention his nearest rival, the more-inevitable-than-ever Mitt Romney.

Santorum also wasn’t clear on the reasons for his campaign suspension, though he did mention his ill daughter, Bella, who was  released from the hospital on Monday after a weekend in which the candidate had canceled campaign events to tend to her.

Cynical poll watchers will  point to depressing numbers for the upcoming April 24 primary in Pennsylvania — the state Santorum represented in Congress until 2006 — as a simple reason for his departure. A loss in his “home state” would have dealt the Santorum brand an embarrassing blow, especially after the 18-point  defeat he suffered just six years ago, the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent senator for some 30 years. As it stands, the surprisingly successful campaign gives the candidate the chance of another presidential run in 2016.

The Romney campaign had already committed to throwing $2.9 million into the Pennsylvania race and ending Santorum once and for all. Adding insult, the ad assault was going to aim squarely at his Senate loss. “We fired him as senator, why promote him to president?” one ad asked.

Of course, there remain three total candidates in the Republican race: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has vowed to stay in all the way to the convention, and Rep. Ron Paul has yet to repudiate his mysterious caucus strategy. Then there’s Romney, still as ever the likely nominee.

There are some (see:?us) who say the conservative crusader never stood a real chance at the highest office in the nation. But for all of Santorum’s detractors (see again:?us) it’s impossible to deny the campaign’s successes. What began  as a shoestring effort launched out of a borrowed pickup truck emerged as a real candidacy capable of moving the issues rightward. And though he’s officially out, his impact persists. As Romney pivots back toward the center, the specter of Santorum will remain.

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik

Related:

Rick Santorum suspends his presidential campaign



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Arts

EXCLUSIVE: Backstage with Adam Jacobs at 'Aladdin' on…

Metro shadowed Adam Jacobs backstage at "Aladdin" on Broadway.

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…