Santorum's Political Future

Only time will tell. From The New York Times' Nate Silver:

Mr. Santorum may have bought himself some goodwill with Republicans by clearing way for Mr. Romney, as polls increasingly revealed that most Republicans considered Mr. Romney’s nomination inevitable and many of them wanted to get the race over with. But is there any way for Mr. Santorum to cash in those chips?

Actually, that might be a challenge; it’s not clear where Mr. Santorum goes next.

It is questionable, however, whether Mr. Santorum can expect the competition in 2016 or 2020 to be as soft as it was this year, with big names like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and perhaps others looming on the horizon, and as the Republicans who were elected to office in the 2010 wave begin to mature as politicians.

Mr. Santorum could also look to statewide office in Pennsylvania, but that might require a reasonably long wait. The incumbent governor there, Tom Corbett, is a Republican and is eligible for another term in 2014, so Mr. Santorum would either need to mount a primary challenge or hope that Mr. Corbett retires.

Mr. Santorum is himself fairly young at 53, so he will have plenty of time to build up his brand name and evaluate his options. Still, it could easily be that the 2012 nomination campaign will prove to be the high-water mark of his political career.

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-11 08:44:15 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy