Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Krauthammer: Santorum should drop out

Expect to hear plenty of variations of this argument, both publicly and privately, whispered -- nay, shouted -- in Rick Santorum's ears over the next few months.

Charles Krauthammer:

"He's so young now, 53, that in eight years -- forget about in four years -- he'll be younger than Romney is today.

He's got a future, and why would he want to run three weeks from now in his homestate where there's no upside? He's expected. He's expected, you're expected to win your homestate.

.... if he loses in his homestate, he undoes all the good he did up until now, because the knock on him was he lost his homestate as Senator by a huge amount in 2006 and then he came back.

I think if he were smart now, think of a future which he definitely has as a contender in the future, he would either -- maybe not now, but in a week or two -- before the next round step away graciously, I think it would help him a lot in the future."

The question is whether Santorum can resist his impulse to go on and on and on (whether in speeches, debates, or running presidential races), suck it up, and get out. He'd certainly be given vague promises of future glory.

I think those promises would, ultimately, go unfulfilled and that this was his one shot. He couldn't beat Romney in a historically weak field, and there's no way it'll be this lousy and open four or eight years from now.

But, ironically, both options -- staying in or dropping out -- could conceivably appeal to Santorum's ego. If he stays in, he delays having to gulp and admit he lost. If he gets out, he gets enormous pats on the back and, again, vague promises of future glory.