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Homepage / N2K Presidential Race

Santorum's Second Act

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

June 8, 2012

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum announced on Thursday that he was launching a new group called “Patriot Voices,” which is dedicated to promoting issues and candidates—and, of course, keeping Santorum relevant until the next election cycle.

Several former candidates for higher office have followed a similar path in order to keep their status on the national political stage, including Sarah Palin and, even, Mitt Romney.

After losing the Republican presidential primary in 2008, Romney formed his Free and Strong America political action committee to pay for his political staff’s salaries and raise money for other candidates across the country. This, on top of writing No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, paved the way for Romney’s 2012 run.

 

Similarly, Palin formed Sarah PAC, which served as a soapbox for the former vice presidential candidate after her ticket’s 2008 loss. With her committee, Palin was able to continue fundraising for the past four years, speak at national conservative events and remain in the national conversation—although a few reality shows helped, as well. Unlike Romney, however, her 2012 run never actually happened.

But others haven’t been as successful, or conventional. Former pizza czar and presidential candidate Herman Cain launched his group, Sick of Stimulus, after his failed run. And although he’s received headlines, it was only because of the often-disturbing—and widely mocked—videos the group has produced.

It will be interesting to see whether Santorum stays in the spotlight in the next four years, and if Patriot Voices has any hold. If Romney loses this election, Santorum’s popularity among the religious conservatives in the GOP could keep him in the national spotlight for four more years. Can you say, Santorum 2016?

--Matt Vasilogambros
@MattVas 

NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT

After Dismal Week, Obama Pins Blame For Economy on Europe -- Again
[National Journal, 6/8/12] After a week the White house and all Democrats fervently wish everybody could forget, Obama needed to combat the notion that the nation’s economic affairs are drifting, as National Journal’s George Condon writes. But he continued to blame everybody else for the bad news. 

Why A President Romney Would Continue Obama's Covert War 
[National Journal, 6/8/12] Our constitutional system requires a full explanation to the American public on how an administration justifies a covert war, writes National Journal’s Michael Hirsh, yet exposure will very likely jeopardize the success of these tactics. 

Ad Spending Tops $100 Million in Presidential Race 
[National Journal, 6/8/12] Obama, Romney, and the outside groups bolstering their campaigns have spent more than $100 million on television advertising. The spending has dominated television airwaves in 10 swing states, and this week alone residents in those states have seen $17 million in advertising. 

Campaigns Blitz Nine Swing States in a Battle of Ads
[New York Times, 6/8/12] The presidential campaigns and their allies are zeroing in on nine swing states, blitzing voters with commercials in the earliest concentration of advertising in modern politics. Nowhere is this more apparent than in southern Nevada, where both sides are spending $5 million over eight weeks to reach just 1.4 million voters – and only six electoral votes.

Obama Campaign Admits Fundraising Defeat in May
[Huffington Post, 6/7/12] After Romney’s campaign announced that it and allied committees had raised about $76.7 million in May, about $17 million more than Obama and his allies raised during that month, the president’s camp acknowledged being trumped at its own craft. Also: why Democrats should be worried about the gap.

Romney Executive Style Forged in Faith He Rarely Mentions
[Bloomberg, 6/7/12] Romney often speaks about the experiences that have shaped his leadership skills and business acumen – most specifically at Bain Capital. But those who have worked with him note that his faith offers valuable insight into his leadership style and undercuts Obama’s portrait of him as an uncaring corporate raider.

Obama Will Bang on Bain Capital as Fight Heats Up
[Washington Examiner, 6/7/12] Political insiders seem to think that Bain Capital is dead as an issue in this campaign, but not so fast, writes Byron York. Even though Bill Clinton and Cory Booker have come out against the attacks on Romney’s former company, surveys show that painting private equity companies like Bain as predatory could benefit Obama’s campaign.

Rand Paul Endorses Romney For President
[National Journal, 6/8/12] Though his father has yet to fully end his presidential bid, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said on Thursday night that he was backing Romney for president. This latest endorsement is one more move by the GOP base to coalesce around Romney.

New Romney Ad Touts Days as Governor
[National Journal, 6/8/12] Team Romney’s latest ad, the fourth in a series about what he’d do as president on Day One, focuses on promoting his accomplishments in Massachusetts: “He did it by bringing parties together to cut through gridlock.”

The ‘Leak’ Wars
[Politico, 6/8/12] Obama’s aggressive foreign policy image-building has sometimes bumped up against the national security establishment’s tendency to be tight-lipped. Now, Obama is the political beneficiary of several major breaches in the wall of secrecy.

GOP Used to Bury Clinton, Now it Praises Him
[Associated Press, 6/8/12] Republicans who tried to strip former president Clinton of his presidency are gleefully tossing around Clinton’s record and rhetoric at Obama, highlighting what they see as a split between the two Democrats. In the latest development, Clinton on Thursday apologized for stepping on Obama’s message on the Bush-era tax cuts.

Las Vegas Labor Dispute Could Harm Obama
[Los Angeles Times, 6/7/12] The skirmish between workers and Station Casinos, owners of several nonunion slot palaces, is one of the biggest labor fights in the country – and now the dispute is threatening to spill over into the presidential campaign.

Three Health Care Scenarios For Obama
[Politico, 6/8/12] Later this month, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act, and conventional wisdom predicts the law will at least be stripped of its keystone provision, the individual mandate. Politico offers three main scenarios Obama is likely gaming out: the ugly, the bad, and the good.

Romney Probably Shouldn’t Have Been Using Hotmail
[Mashable, 6/8/12] An alleged hacker got into Romney’s Hotmail account by correctly guessing an answer to a security question, which also gave that same password access to the governor’s Dropbox account. Experts say Romney could’ve avoided the hassle by using more secure passwords and security questions, and by using Gmail instead of Hotmail.

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