Rick Santorum
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore

Rick Santorum "Quitting Race"

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Bowing to the inevitable, Rick Santorum is set to announce today his intention to suspend his presidential campaign.

“Santorum is due to make the announcement at a stop in his home state of Pennsylvania after a weekend in which he tended to his three-year-old daughter, Bella, who had been hospitalized with pneumonia,” The New York Times noted this afternoon.

“The decision abruptly ends his quest for the Republican presidential nomination after weeks in which he has struggled to compete with Mr. Romney’s well-financed, highly-organized campaign apparatus.”

This is undoubtedly good news for Mitt Romney’s campaign, which will welcome the chance to train its resources and fire power on the Obama administration, rather than on trying to finish off a race that many had hoped would have been long over by now.

Santorum was something of a surprise package, being the last in a rotating series of anti-Romney candidates, despite a lack of resources and having seen his last stint in politics end with the humiliation of suffering among the biggest losses of an incumbent senator (in this case Pennsylvania) in decades.

As I suggested in an entry in February, when Santorum was riding high after a hat trick of wins in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, Santorum’s withdrawal from the race will do little damage to the quality of the foreign policy discourse as we head toward November. He has described, for example, how the United States is “facing a global alliance that includes Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and of course Cuba” – an helpful and even misleading laundry list of “problem” nations that certainly doesn’t have what could be described as an alliance in place.

On climate change, too, Santorum went far out on a limb, describing it as simply “a hoax.” As I said in February, there is of course scope for disagreement on how to respond to climate change, and where the balance should be between economic growth and cutting emissions. But Santorum’s dismissive take is troubling for anyone seriously interested in tackling an issue that should transcend left or right pigeon holing.

Thankfully, we won’t now need to hear the former senator’s prescriptions for tackling his expanded “axis of evil.”

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