(From the editor: Daily Santorum began as a way to track the Pittsburgh native when few else were paying attention, and to avoid the sanitarium authors Dan Malloy and Tim McNulty stuffed the posts with Metallica references. For the last one, here's a guest spot from Early Returns' version of the irreplaceable Cliff Burton.)
"There is nothing more for me/Need the end to set me free"
We can safely assume that 1984 James Hetfield had far darker things on his mind than a presidential campaign, but these lines from the Metallica classic "Fade To Black" provide an apt coda to the Rick Santorum's Fantastic Presidential Adventure. He made his point; it was time to go.
Santorum accomplished many things aside from completely upending the conventional wisdom of the presidential race. (Look no further than the Daily Santorum debut edition on Feb. 25, 2011, in which Politico's ubiquitous Mike Allen ranks the candidates thusly: 1) Mitt Romney, 2) Tim Pawlenty, 3) Haley Barbour, 4) Jon Huntsman, 5) Newt Gingrich, 6) Rick Santorum.) He elevated the cause of "family values" more than any other candidate. He somehow made the sweater vest even less cool. He managed to inject an intriguing brand of right-wing working class populism into the race that Romney will surely seek in the general election. He wielded a piece of Marcellus shale like a talisman.
Most of all – as much as he did the standard politician's it's-about-you formalities in his Gettysburg farewell – Rick Santorum rehabilitated his own image. No longer is he best known for a nasty neologism (now No. 3 on Google, behind his campaign site and Wikipedia entry) and an 18-point spanking by a milquetoast Senate challenger.
This newfound status should serve him nicely in his next move, likely a lucrative media gig and/or some more consulting work and speculation for the next four or eight years about another run – which will, in turn, boost the aforementioned pursuits. He is also free to spend more time coaching Little League, playing fantasy baseball and tending to Bella, all of which he surely missed.
At the Daily Santorum, we had plenty of fun at Santorum's expense -- weed smoking, beer chugging, JFK-vomit, Satan – and hopefully we did our part to inform you, kind reader, about the campaign as well as provide a little levity to the proceedings. I had a blast helping to write it and – since leaving the P-G in August – I've enjoyed the heck out of reading it. Thanks to all for following along and for Santorum, his staff and his supporters for being good sports about it.
Because, let's face it, the Daily Romney would have been dull.