Santorum's In

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 6 2011 12:12 PM

Santorum's In

Rick Santorum is officially a candidate for president of the United States. Before we ruminate on the impact he's going to have, let us consider that he is 1) not gaining ground in any primary states, 2) given a 0.8 percent chance of victory at InTrade , and 3) welcomed to the campaign with a sigh and a diss from Erick Erickson and, possibly more importantly, from Club for Growth President Chris Chocola.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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As president, Santorum would most likely lead the country in a pro-growth direction, but his record contains more than a few weak spots that make use question if he would resist political expediency when it comes to economic issues.

The fiscal conservative's gripe with Santorum -- and this is one reason he says "outrageous" things, distracting us -- is that in the Senate he directed discretionary spending to industries in his state. That wasn't taboo in the Bush era, but it's taboo now. The Santorum counter-argument can be this: Ignore the mote and look at the beam. Sure, he'd spend some money on milk subsidies , but he'd do this while calling for private Social Security accounts (a position that helped sink him in 2006). In 2011, he's saying the Ryan plan needs to be implemented more quickly, with more people making unpleasant sacrifices. If you're a serious fiscal-con, the only people talking this bold are Santorum, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson.

All right! On to the speech.

"A president who believes in America" is a beautiful little trope, probably my favorite that any candidate has come up with.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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