Bill Bennett, who will be travelling with Texas governor Rick Perry tomorrow before he officially jumps in the race for the Republican nomination for president, writes:
Rick Santorum needs a big finish in Ames. Judging from a recent hourlong interview with him at the editorial board of the Des Moines Register, it is clear he is very well-versed in every aspect of policy — from foreign to domestic — and he can speak at length on almost any issue thrown his way. (Full disclosure: A business associate of mine is an adviser to Santorum’s campaign.)
Had he won his 2006 re-election bid in Pennsylvania, there is no doubt in my mind Santorum would be a front-runner today. If he can convince voters of his otherwise successful record and abilities and finish near the top in Ames, he will go on to fight another day. He does have a record of being underestimated. And, in full fairness, while Romney does not have a recent defeat on his record, it is pretty clear he chose not to run for re-election in Massachusetts in 2006 because it was likely he would not win his seat again.
Do watch this. And listen to him tonight. He brings a deep understanding of policymaking to the stage. I, for one, want him in the Washington decision-making mix.
Here is an interview I did with him just after he announced.