Santorum’s Speech Wasn’t Perfect, But Today Was Darn Close

You know how things in life are never perfect? I’ve found with every good gift, there’s a shadow waiting to steal the joy you otherwise would’ve gotten from that gift.

For example, you get a new car, but a hail storm put dents in the hood the first week.  Or, you love your job but it takes so much time away from your family.  Or you get a new puppy but now you can’t leave the house for more than a few hours without worrying about the thing. Or you have a good friend, but hurt her feelings with a stray comment you didn’t mean.  (Or, worse, something you did mean!)

We live in a fallen world and things just are rarely perfect.

However, today was a near perfect day for us Evangelicals for Mitt.  Charles, David, and I (along with some dear friends) began this Romney adventure many years ago in 2006.  When we saw Santorum approaching the podium to suspend his campaign this afternoon, we all began e-mailing each other little snippets from the past seven years.  David reminisced about a time when we sat in my parents’ living room in Paris, Tennessee telling people from my hometown church about a guy a named Mitt. He’s going to be our President one day, we told them. Yes, M-i-t-t.   Mitt.  Like the catcher’s mitt.  And by the way, we need you to go vote for him in a straw poll in Memphis.

Charles reminded us of a term we developed at some point along the way.  I once described Charles as “unflappable,” and he was trying to protest.  Instead of finding the appropriately opposite word, he simply made one up.  Ever since then, we’ve described people as “flappable,” “flapped,” or “flappalicious.”

I reminded them of the time I told the Romneys – after Gov. Romney dropped out of the 2008 campaign and David was in Iraq – “sure, I’m a great skier!”  (If you don’t know that story, buy this book, or this one for the full, embarrassing tale.)

This afternoon, we went back and forth for several hours, savoring Santorum’s concession before the real fight against Obama begins.

Wait… but it wasn’t really a concession, was it?  Even though I was happy, I couldn’t help notice some glaring omissions from Santorum’s speech.

For one, he never mentioned Gov. Romney’s name.

He definitely didn’t ask his supporters to unite behind the nominee.

What about the fact that he didn’t “drop out,” he merely “suspended?”

Plus, when he was defeated in Pennsylvania by a Democrat in 2006, he graciously bowed out and conceded defeat to Bob Casey.  He even asked his supporters to give his opponent a round of applause, chastised them when they weren’t enthusiastic enough, and offered cooperation with Pennsylvanian’s new senator.  “Wouldn’t it be nice if he’d done that this time?” someone asked me on Facebook.

Well, it would’ve.  In a perfect world, he would’ve acted like Gov. Romney did when he conceded to Sen. McCain. Toby Harnden reminded us how that went down: “…when Romney dropped out, he not only endorsed his rival a week later but went to work for him.”

But here’s the thing, my Romney supporting friends.  We’ve been waiting for a long time for “the moment.”  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  That one moment when everyone must acknowledge that Gov. Romney is “the guy.”  That day when everyone unanimously looks at us, and says, “You were right.”  When news anchors report, “Gov. Romney is the GOP nominee.”  When we never hear the word “presumptive” again.  When we can finally breathe a sigh of relief after years of work.

Today was that day.  No, it wasn’t perfect, and there were no fireworks. (I gave you guys some in the above photo!) But this isn’t a perfect world, Rick Santorum isn’t the perfect candidate, and he’s not even a perfect man.  Guess what?  Neither is Mitt and neither are you.

Let’s don’t let the fact that Rick Santorum wasn’t as gracious as he should’ve been ruin it.  He’ll eventually get on board, after he tends to his family.  After he has a few days to calm down.  After he tends to his wounded pride.

None but the most politically attentive will remember his speech today.  Normal people will just remember that a good guy fought a hard battle, had major family issues, and dropped out before eventually coming around and supporting Gov. Romney.

Do you know what you’ll remember?  That today was the end of the end of the GOP race and the beginning of the end of President Obama’s first — and last! — term.  Even if it doesn’t feel like you’d hoped it would feel, don’t let anything ruin it for you!  Today is our day.  Let’s savor it for a few hours longer, before the general campaigning begins.

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About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • Mila

    Very wise, Nancy! Thanks for all the work you and David are doing! We are witnessing pivotal history in the making! Today is a day to celebrate!

  • Arm

    Thank you all at Evangelicals for Mitt for your great efforts, this is your victory.

  • Robert

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Terry

    Football and Politics

    A win is a win is a win.

    Some time ago, I predicted that Santorum would stay in the race until the convention in Florida. Knowing how much he was cemented to the belief that God had told him to run for president, I can imagine that the decision of whether or not to suspend his campaign was not an easy one to make–but it was the best one for him, I believe. To have continued on, considering what his daughter is going through, I think would have reflected very poorly with his supporters. And, understandably, admitting that “I quit”, are not words he can utter just yet–but that will come.

    I would love to see Romney, WHEN he is elected President, find a place in his administration for both Newt and Rick. During this campaign, I’ve come to think of Newt as kind of a “loose cannon”, full of zany ideas and not afraid of calling a spade a spade. As a Romney surrogate, he could do a lot of damage to the Obama machine, in my opinion. Rick, on the other hand, would be useful in dogging Obama on the issues that have a religious tone to them. I know that Newt has already agreed to support Romney when the time comes, and if Rick will do the same thing, I don’t see Obama having much of a chance at a second term.

    Here’s a little true tale for you: In 1980, BYU played SMU in the Holiday bowl. (Hang with me, there’s a point to this.) BYU came into the game with a bowl record of 0-4. With about 2½ minutes left in the game, and SMU ahead by 20 points, it looked like they would leave with a record of 0-5. Televisions and radios were being turned off; fans were leaving the stadium; SMU players were relaxing, basking in the glow of an easy win; and the BYU coach, with his team at 4th and whatever, was calling for a punt. Mentally, the game was over.


    BYU quarterback Jim McMahon refused to come off the field, telling his offense to stay put. “You’re not giving up now, are you?!” he yelled the coaching staff. Defensive players were called back to the side line, and a few seconds later, fourth down became first down.

    The game-tying touchdown–a 45 yard Hail-Mary pass was begun with 3 seconds left on the clock, and was thrown after time had expired. The pressurized point-after was good also.

    The BYU players and fans were naturally ecstatic, just as the SMU players and fans were naturally stunned. Next day, the sports papers were referring to the game as the “Miracle Bowl”. One SMU player summed up the feelings of his entire team when he said, “Anyone who played in this game has learned, never to let up again.”

    Santorum was wrong when he announced a few days ago—referring to the state of his campaign–that “this is half time”. The real halftime comes when Romney wins the nomination. After that, it’s quickly back to what I’ve heard some pundits predict will be the most vicious campaign in history.

    We can’t let Obama pull off a Miracle Bowl, and we can’t relax until Mitt Romney raises his hand and takes the oath of office. That’s when I’ll probably heave a big sigh of relief, stretch, and take my wife out to dinner.


  • Toni

    I loved this article Nancy and want to thank you for your thoughts. I especially want to thank you for writing what was on my mind regarding Santorum’s speech. I, too, noticed the difference between Santorum’s speech and Romney’s concession to McCain in the last election. And I love how you also pointed out that not only did Romney concede to his opponent, but that he also went to work for him. These displays illustrated Romney was willing to put his love of country ahead of his own ego. Something his other opponents really failed to demonstrate. Romney’s got class for sure.

    Thank you for all you do to support Gov. Romney. I know he will be amazing as our President. I can’t wait!!

  • Vai Rua

    Excellent article….you are right….we must savor the moment before the real battle begins.
    Mitt 2012!!!

  • Tawn

    First, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you and all the good evangelicals who have supported Mitt. As we all know life in a diverse America requires all of us who profess to affirm faith and or values to come together in common cause in order to restore and preserve our common faith and or values. I phrase it in this way due to the fact that although we may not share all common religious beliefs we do share common values which makes it possible for our nation to aspire to become that “city upon the hill” which we all aspire to.

    Second, I would like to thank you for reminding us how important it is to demonstrate respect for those who may have been our opponents in the past. We all can sympathize with the Santorum family as they have and will continue to have issues of health for their daughter. I also believe that good people like Santorum will rally around Mitt and help to defeat President Obama. Santorum once said in 2008 that Mitt was the most conservative and well qualified man for the nation. He will once again state the obvious and offer his unqualified support to help defeat Obama and help restore America.

    Third, I want to thank you for your uncanny ability to find hope will there appears to be less of it, humour when it is hard to comeby, and a timely reminder that none of us is perfect. If all of us can remember these things it will surely build our resolve to see Mitt through to the presidency. We must all strive to enlarge the Romney tent and find common cause with those who may not share all the same beliefs but rather share a commitment to the common values that we all cherish.

  • Kay

    Well the general campaign began today in earnest on the “comment” circuit. Opposition is coming out of the walls against Romney. Today the truth is revealed…. Romney was and is the “one” candidate the Dems did not want President Obama to have to run against.
    We have an amazing GOP candidate. We need to go to work to get Romney elected. I applaud EFM for the years of support they have given to this just cause.

  • Liz

    Yeah. I agree. Santorum’s stunt means little to me. I’m waiting for Romney to get the full necessary delegate count. Then it’s a victory. For 24 hours. Then it’s on to the real battle, the one that matters to our kids and grandkids.

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