Campaign 2012–The Next Phase
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
The Santorum decision to suspend his campaign was not much of a surprise. In fact the very success of his campaign itself is one of the most interesting stories of this entire election cycle so far. It is remarkable because he was an afterthought less than a year ago; he clearly became the voice of the Republican Party’s conservative wing; and he outlasted many other tea-party voices who burst on to the scene far more bombastically than he. In addition, Santorum achieved his success with clearly the least amount of financial support and having spent far and away the least amount of money—to date—per vote received.
Ironically, it is the money carriers in the GOP who were the happiest about the Santorum decision, as they now can aggregate the huge amount of monies donated to various candidates’ super-pacs into the pro-Romney one, Restore Our Future. The insane reality of this campaign season is that indeed both Democrats and Republicans are in the race to reach the billion dollar figure, much of which will be raised during the pre-Convention hiatus which we have now entered.
Except for the mistakes and repartees like the one which occurred yesterday this is the most boring portion of the campaign. There undoubtedly will be more mis-speaks like the Hilary Rosen attack on Ann Romney for being a stay at home Mom, the Romney folks field day in response, followed by the Obama team and Rosen falling all over themselves apologizing. Until the post-conventions period and the first face-to-face debate, the American people can look forward to fund-raisers, advertisements (especially by the super-pacs), constant polling data cum analysis flooding the media, and the Romney vice-presidential sweepstakes.
For the Jewish voters, the posturing and pandering from both parties will continue especially in the major swing states with any sizeable Jewish population. Romney will continue to distance himself from the views of Ron Paul as well as from his son Senator Rand Paul. In fact, it might be the freshman senator from Kentucky who could potentially frustrate the Romney outreach to Jewish voter even moreso than his father. The hold that Senator Rand placed two weeks ago on the Senate floor blocked efforts to pass a virtually unanimous Iran Sanctions bill and indeed could lead Romney into a substantive division with the Pauls’ Tea Party followers and Romney’s Jewish supporters.