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
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

Movies

Interview: Robert Rodriguez doesn't mind that Jessica Alba…

In making a Hollywood-friendly adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty "Sin City" graphic novel series, Robert Rodriguez learned that some things have to go — namely…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Aug. 20: 'Extant,' 'Legends'…

See a two hour block of Halle Berry's scifi show, "Extant."

The Word

The Word: Mischa Barton in trouble, not that…

  People are really, really worried about Mischa Barton. Again. The former "O.C." star is reportedly in deep financial trouble and can't seem to get…

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Food

The Chic Wife tells us how to use…

Kris Schoels, aka The Chic Wife, grew up on a farm with peach trees. August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason…