The PJ Tatler

150 Social Con Leaders Meet, Decide to Coalesce Around Santorum as the Anti-Romney

They met near Houston today and decided to back Santorum.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and a spokesman for the group of roughly 150 activists, said that a “strong consensus” emerged for the former Pennsylvania senator after a three-ballot process.

“I think it was vigorous discussion of who they felt best represented the conservative movement and who they think had the best chance of succeeding,” said Perkins, adding that he was surprised that the group was able to coalesce around one candidate.

The activists gathering in Texas, a week before South Carolina voters go to the polls in their primary, said their get-together was meant to unite behind an alternative to President Obama and not to “bash” Mitt Romney – the front-runner for the nomination who is viewed with skepticism within some conservative and evangelical circles.

They say they looked at Santorum, Gingrich and Perry, and decided to back Santorum over Perry despite liking the latter’s record more, out of concerns over electability. That’s a fair concern given how the campaign has gone, but upon what would Santorum run a national campaign? It’s true that he was a solid senator, if a bit on the “big government conservative” side for my liking, and is a good family man. But what has he done? What has he led? He lost big last time he ran for office, setting up a potential Al Gore problem of not even being able to win his own home state. Santorum is tied with Obama in a hypothetical Pennsylvania one-on-one as of a few days ago, but…I’m skeptical that’ll hold up. The Democrats and the media will have an easy time painting him as “extreme” and he’s not the sunniest of speakers. The GOP can’t give Pennsylvania away and expect to win.

We’re not electing a figurehead, we’re electing a chief executive and commander in chief. That fact seems to have been lost in this race a long time ago. Maybe in 2008 actually, when the nation gambled on hopenchange rather than valuing relevant experience.