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Rick Being Rick

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Rick Santorum set aside his passion for a moment, looked at the math, and bowed out of the race for the Republican nomination for President on Tuesday [April 10].

He made his announcement in Gettysburg.  There's symbolism somewhere in there, but I am not sure where.  Santorum as Gen. Robert E. Lee?  As Gen. George Pickett? I can't say.  The role of victorious Gen. George Meade is already filled, though, by Mitt Romney.

As part of its Santorum post-mortem, the New York Times asked me to write a post for their Campaign Stops blog that talked about Santorum, his decision and his campaign.

I decided to link it back to Santorum's experience in Pennsylvania in 2006, when he got shellacked by Bob Casey Jr. in the November election.

What parallels were there between that experience -- which was a double-digit defeat -- and his experience in 2012? 

One thing is sure: Santorum was a comeback kid this year.  He rose from the ashes of his 2006 campaign -- and his repudiation by Pennsylvania voters -- to being (at least for a time) a serious contender for his party's presidential nomination.

An aside: After Santorum's defeat in 2006, I wrote a harsh piece about him that took him to task for his take-no-prisoners approach to social and moral issues, accusing him of being intolerant and proud of it.

I got an email from a reader taking me to task for criticizing Santorum, saying I was being fundamentally unfair by being intolerant of intolerance. I had trouble wrapping my mind around that concept.

The Times piece is called The Dusted Indigo Period. 

-- Tom Ferrick

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