Krauthammer labels Santorum Romney’s greatest threat

Charles Krauthammer‘s latest National Review Online column makes the case for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum as the greatest threat to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s bid to win the Republican presidential nomination.

[H]e isn’t just the last man standing. He is the first challenger to be plausibly presidential: knowledgeable, articulate, experienced, of stable character and authentic ideology.

He’d been ignored largely because he appeared unelectable — out of office for five years, having lost his Senate seat in Pennsylvania by a staggering 17 points in 2006.

However, with his virtual tie for first in Iowa, he sheds the loser label and seizes the momentum, meaning millions of dollars’ worth of free media to make up for his lack of money. He’s got the stage to make his case, plus the luck of a scheduling quirk: If he can make it through the next three harrowing primaries, the (relative) February lull would allow him to build a national campaign structure before Super Tuesday on March 6.

Santorum’s electoral advantage is sociological: His common-man, working-class sensibility would be highly appealing to battleground-state Reagan Democrats. His fundamental problem is ideological: He’s a deeply committed social conservative in a year when the country is obsessed with the economy and when conservatism is obsessed with limited government.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

Reader Comments