Santorum 2012?

Every campaign needs a narrative — it must tell a story. This one would require creativity. My sources indicate the Santorum camp has settled on a Churchillian narrative. Essentially, it goes like this: Santorum was right all along. He was right about creeping socialism. He was right about the culture. He was right about Islamic fascism. The people didn’t appreciate him. He was a Cassandra. But now he has been vindicated.

If this seems like a stretch, it’s because you are not a political strategist tasked with inventing a rationale for a Santorum presidential run. But the argument that he’s electable isn’t so hard to make. Clearly, there is room in the GOP for fresh candidates. Mitt Romney, who should be the presumptive frontrunner, has many problems, not the least of which is that he was essentially for Obamacare in Massachusetts. Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota, still has to prove his conservative bona fides. And Sarah Palin is volatile. Her poll numbers seem to reflect the fact that while she is wildly popular within the conservative movement, that affinity is not transferable to the general public. It is unlikely she could run a focused, organized campaign. In fact, one of her biggest fans recently admitted she couldn’t beat Obama. Santorum’s people believe that Palin will eventually decide not to run, and that their candidate can rise up and occupy her niche. He is just as conservative as Palin, but greatly exceeds her in experience and sophistication. Given a relatively weak field, it’s not as far-fetched as it might sound.