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

PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.

Local

How to donate during the blood drive at…

The Metro-North Railroad and New York Blood Center are hosting a blood drive at Grand Central Terminal Thursday.

Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NFL

Jets make Chris Johnson signing official

The Jets got their big-play threat as running back Chris Johnson signed a multi-year contract with the team on Wednesday.

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.