Few expected Rick Santorum to do as well as he did in the 2012 Republican Primaries. Due to a confluence of events and a fair amount of stubborness on his part, he was the only serious challenger remaining against presumptive nominee Mitt Romney at the end. With the departure of candidates like Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann, Santorum became the last remaining “other than Mitt” in the race.
Apparently this bit of fortune has led Mr. Santorum, a true symbol of the worst side of conservatism if there ever were one, to think he has a shot in 2016. According to the Washington Examiner:
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who emerged as the conservative populist in the 2012 GOP presidential primaries, is already running for the 2016 nomination for president.
Santorum, who has been making the rounds at conservative media outlets, this week stepped deeper into the presidential pool when he said that he isn’t “doing anything inconsistent” with a 2016 campaign.
Say what? Now, I’m fully aware that there is still a sizable portion of the GOP that is perfectly fine with Santorum’s social views and willing to ignore his numerous sins against any notion of limited government. But it’s hard to see how Santorum could be a major player again in 2016. With the arrival of people like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, it’s hard to see where he fits in. Both Rubio and Paul are social conservatives with unimpeachable pro-life bona-fides, and it’s clear that the tide has massively changed on the issue of same-sex marriage to the point where an anti-gay message in 2016 could prove even more anachronistic than it is today.