Rick Santorum is Still the Same Creepy Guy He Was in 2012

| Fri Feb. 7, 2014 1:43 PM EST

A quick note on the Republican presidential field. In the course of making the case for Paul Ryan as the front runner a few days ago, I failed to mention Rick Santorum as a possible challenger. That was a mistake. He's going to run, and he belongs on the list.

That said, come on. Is anyone taking him seriously? Yes, he won a few primaries in 2012, but only as the last man standing in the Anyone But Romney marathon. That doesn't demonstrate an ability to win, it just demonstrates an unusual level of pigheadedness. Santorum was willing to stay in the race for months even though he never polled more than a few percent and was obviously widely disliked. Only when everyone else was gone did conservative voters reluctantly turn to him as their final, forlorn hope of stopping the Romney juggernaut.

So sure, Santorum is going to run. He might do better this time around because his name recognition is higher. But he's still the same creepy dude he was last time and he still has the charisma of a sea slug. Even the Christian Right obviously finds him a little too self-righteous and a little too shudder inducing. I wouldn't put him even in the top five of possible 2016 contenders.