Is this the 2016 ticket? The Palin's and Rick Santorum at the NRA Convention
Of course it is far to early to be looking at who may run and what tickets there might be for 2016. That didn't stop the media from commencing, and continuing, such speculation from the day after President Obama was re-elected.
The reality is however that the costs of a campaign are so enormous, allied to the massive structural necessities in personnel-not only in a campaign team but campaign offices and staff across the various in-play states- that the next presidential election did indeed commence last November.
Although no potential candidate has commenced with team building, it is a fact that a number have indicated that they are considering running in 2016 and SuperPac's are being set up for Hillary Clinton now.
The foregoing being the case given the nature of this blog it would be natural that, on the expectation that Governor Palin did announce a run, consideration would be given to who might be her running mate.
I personally lean to Newt Gingrich as he would bring vast legislative experience, is a fighter, and could not be dismissed on the grounds of not being suitable to be a "heartbeat away from the presidency". He has been vetted, and his past is well known and is, I believe, behind him. Once the campaign commenced, the media would have to deal with the reality of his policy depth of which he is masterful.
However, if Gingrich was not considered, or didn't wish to run, then I believe Rick Santorum deserves significant consideration as Palin's VP. Like Palin, Santorum is squeaky clean ethically and morally. There would be no shock horror distractions and revelations with either of them, and the media and opposition would have to fight a battle of ideas. Not good for newspaper circulation, and eyeballs on TV, but good for America.
Santorum has legislative experience and is an experienced campaigner, he can't be categorized as a Dan Quayle fodder for the late night talk show hosts nor can he be dismissed as not being ready to take over if need be. His pro-life platform is steadfast and respected and he might bring significant support from the Catholic community.
In a race where every vote will count this Catholic support, especially from the Hispanic community in Florida, might be enough to tip the balance for the GOP.
Further, Pennsylvania, Santorum's home state, if won would probably be the decider in the Electoral College for the GOP and if it were my campaign to manage I would keep Santorum in Pa. for most of the duration of the actual election period
With all those aspects to recommend him why not Santorum at the head of the ticket? I believe that 2016 will see a woman heading one and most probably both tickets-it is time frankly.
If the Dem's, as seems likely, nominate Hillary Clinton the contrast between a staunch pro-life candidate like Santorum versus a strong "women's rights" Hillary led campaign would be too much to overcome especially with women being the majority of voters.
Palin, although clearly a pro-life person as well is viewed as more open on the matter and is of course a woman who has overcome massive media persecution dominated by male journalists and it her candidacy would blunt much , if not all, of a Clinton candidacy in her appeal to women.
If a Santorum vice-presidency was considered by the Palin team I believe that an early offer of the position would be important if, not vital. We saw in 2012 how the split on the right allowed Romney to win primary after primary with a small plurality whilst Santorum, Gingrich and the rest of the candidates split the majority of conservative votes.
If the ticket was worked out in advance, Palin could go into Iowa with Santorum's support and would thus have a good chance of getting the initial win and the momentum.
Palin/Santorum 2016- it could just be the ticket.