Imagining Santorum vs. Clinton in 2016

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this. 

Rick Santorum is no longer a candidate for president in 2012. He hopes, he made clear today, to be a candidate for president in 2016. 

Imagine the contest! Imagine Santorum coming back after the defeat of Mitt Romney demanding the nomination on the grounds that the false prophet–that would be Romney–had failed to deliver the goods, that he had led the party down to defeat and betrayed the conservative cause in the bargain.

Imagine the moral indignation that Rick Santorum would be able to splash across the conservative firmament, the personal right he would claim to blast away at any other candidate, especially one that would call for anything short of all-out ideological warfare, an all-out cleansing of the republic of any spec of liberal intent.

This is the prospect of what happened today. By leaving the campaign before the April 24th Pennsylvania primary, the former senator from that state has maintained his political viability.  Had he stayed in the race and lost there, on his home turf, he would leave a deep record of defeat: that the commonwealth that “fired” him, as the new Romney ad put it, would have rejected him once more. 

But now Santorum can march on. He can pretend to root for Romney this November all the while remembering that ad Romney had ran against him, the one about him being “fired” from public office by his home state. He can say all the right things about Romney all the while hoping that his main chance will come next time when Romney has paid the price for his perfidy, has been shown the insincere conservative that he is, that he has lost to Obama.

Now comes the good part. Can you imagine a presidential campaign in which Rick Santorum is the Republican candidate and Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Democratic candidate? Do you think we would even have to read the newspapers to know where we stand, to not even need a set of TV political debates to appreciate that vast Grand Canyon that separates the two?

All I can say is, “Wow.” This would be the campaign everyone watching right now would hope for, root for, give up their vacations to watch. 

Think of it: former Senator Rick Santorum vs. former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Let’s dream of it together. 

Oh, and thanks, Rick, for saving yourself for the Big One. 

Rick Santorum and Hardball Let Me Finish

Imagining Santorum vs. Clinton in 2016

Updated