The Next Step: Rick Santorum

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/02/opinion/castellanos-santorum-advice/index.html

The article “Rick Santorum’s 10 minutes” by Alex Castellanos brings ups several interesting points about the current Republican candidates. The title clearly focuses on Rick Santorum and what his next step should be after the Iowa primary. Castellanos advises the Santorum campaign to not skip New Hampshire because of the lack of evangelical Republicans in New Hampshire. The article points out this is the group that Santorum and Bachmann have had the most success with but it causes the focus of both campaigns to be on social issues that do not apply to Republicans more concerned with Obama’s economic policies. The first key point from the article is that in this campaign the social issues are important but will not win the nomination for any candidate. Castellanos highlights this point with Michelle Bachmann’s campaign stating how after winning the Iowa Straw Poll she was unable to gain traction outside the “narrow, evangelical conservative” and since then has been stuck focusing on social issues. Castellanos advises Rick against focusing on just social issues because it won’t win the nomination and because he has a strong background that it could help him on economic issues.

The second point is that the Republican Campaigns of Bachmann, Perry, and Gingrich all have “burned bright” against Romney and seem to have waned and now it seems that Rick Santorum is stepping up for his chance. The problem is that if Santorum doesn’t use his 10 minutes after the Iowa primary he could turn into the perfect place holder for Romney, one that would be present but not be able to rally enough support to challenge Obama. Also since must people still see Romney as the front-runner people could vote for him just because of that perception.

My personal opinion on this article is that Castellanos nailed it. Rick Santorum needs to give one hell of a performance tonight and finish in the top three in Iowa to say “Hey look at me, I can beat Obama you don’t have to vote for Romney to get a Republican in the White House.” If I was his speech writer I would focus on three things a quick nod to the evangelical voters in Iowa, then focus on the economic issues, and as Castellanos advises bring up Santorum past about fighting for the American worker. Rick needs to give credit to his current base, but needs to expand that base and focusing on the American worker he can gain vital swing votes with independents and conservative democrats unhappy with the current economic situation. I also agree that Bachmann and Perry have waned and don’t have a chance against Romney. However I feel Gingrich still has a chance because of his strong focus on the economic issues. Also the final point that Dr. Watt has said several times “The Economy” is the issue of this election!!!!!! I know that conservative and liberal alike cares more about getting our economy back on track than any social issue. People don’t worry so much about abortion, same-sex marriage, and pray in school if they don’t have a job or a way of providing for their family.

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