Rick Santorum

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) is suspending his presidential campaign. He made the announcement at 2 p.m. in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (nice venue choice there).

For Above the Law purposes, this means that there’s one less lawyer in the presidential contest. Senator Santorum graduated with honors from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law in 1986, was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar, and practiced for several years at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (now part of K&L Gates). He left full-time legal practice after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990.

I must confess that I’m of two minds about Santorum leaving the race….

On the one hand, I can’t say I was hoping for a President Santorum. On the other hand, given my moderately right-of-center leanings, part of me was hoping for Santorum to somehow become the nominee — and then get blamed, along with extreme right-wing types, for the inevitable defeat at the hands of Barack Obama.

My fear is that if Mitt Romney becomes the Republican nominee and then loses to President Obama — which strikes me as quite likely, given the economy, which is improving just in time — then conservatives in the Republican Party will blame the squishy moderates for the defeat. The Republican Party will drift farther and farther to the right, deeper into the clutches of social conservatives (and irrelevance).

What reasons did Senator Santorum give for putting his campaign on ice? He cited family responsibilities and the sickness of his daughter Bella, who suffers from a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18 and was hospitalized on Friday:

We were very concerned about our roles as being the very best parents has we can be to our children. We made a decision over the weekend while this presidential race is over to for me and will suspend our campaign effective today — we are not done fighting.

Good luck to the Santorums in dealing with their daughter’s illness. And good luck to Mitt Romney as he seeks to sew up the Republican presidential nomination.

BREAKING: Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum Suspends Campaign
[CBS News via Drudge Report]
Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign [The Caucus / New York Times]


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