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

Santorum’s Speech Wasn’t Perfect, But Today Was Darn Close April 10, 2012

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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