Monday, November 26, 2012

Santorum "open" to 2016 run


 Rick Santorum, who's always been the closest thing to a lock for a 2016 bid, confirms it in a new interview with the Weekly Standard.

“I’m open to it, yeah,” Santorum replied. “I think there’s a fight right now as to what the soul of the Republican party’s going to be and the conservative movement, and we have something to say about that. I think from our battle, we’re not going to leave the field.”

And with the obligatory nod to Ronald Reagan and his own destiny, Santorum tells the Standard that he won the same number of primaries (11) that Reagan did in his failed '76 bid.

Considering his competition, though, Santorum will have a much tougher go of it in 2016 than in 2012, but he'll try to sell donors and voters on the argument that voters rejected The Romney Republican and now must necessarily embrace The Santorum Republican. The problem is that there'll probably be a Rubio Republican, Jindal Republican, Christie Republican etc., in '16.

His other problem?

He's less fresh than ever and a reminder of the dismal electoral cycle that Republicans want to put behind them (not to mention one of their worst off-year cycles ever -- 1996 when he lost his Senate seat).

But if Santorum ever lacked confidence, his surprisingly good performance in the '12 primary probably forever sealed his bullishness on himself, and -- what's more -- his Dickens-like Super PAC benefactor, Foster Friess, might be in a check-writing mood again four years from now.