Maybe it’s his Italian and Irish heritage, but anyone a few years from sixty has no right to look as good as Rick Santorum does. Of course, the Oval Office tends to add gray hairs in a hurry to it’s occupants and now that Santorum is officially in the race, we can speculate on how he would deal with the pressures of the top job in the country. And how many gray hairs he will have should he make it to the presidency. But then again, maybe just maybe, Rick Santorum’s faith and values give him an inner strength that shines through. Like Ben Carson, he’s a true social conservative. Unlike Ben Carson, he is an experienced politician with a Senate record.

Which means that all his political missteps and controversies are public knowledge and will be dredged up again on the campaign trail. His success with female voters is a question mark, as his staunch, conservative Catholicism puts him at odds with most liberals and moderates on gender issues. As well as gay issues, and questions of faith and education, as well as his sharp criticism of pornography which has been ridiculed by some and disregarded by many. His choice of home schooling for his children will sit well with evangelicals but may provide an attack point for more moderate rivals. For more moderate rivals to defend themselves from Santorum’s fierce defense of his positions that is. His faith in his own positions almost seems to compel him to seek confrontation in order to see who is with him and who is against him on any given issue. While George W. Bush may have used that phrase, Santorum seems to live by it every single day. As if it wasn’t a choice.

Will Santorum be a viable choice for GOP candidate to the presidency? 2012 was literally a passion play for the man who had been the Republican leader in a very close race up to his withdrawal for reasons intimately tied to his faith and his family. Santorum is back four years and some six weeks after his leaving the race to be with his daughter. To say the GOP field is very different this time around is an understatement. To assume that Rick Santorum will be one more in a crowded field would be a mistake, however. Rick Santorum seems compelled to run for president. As if he had no choice but to do so.

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