Rick Santorum’s Greatest Hits

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/22007612@N05/6633686557/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr

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Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday at a press conference in—naturally—Gettysburg, effectively ending the Republican primary and cementing Mitt Romney’s path to 1144 delegates. (You can see just how far behind Santorum was by checking out our primary predictor.) Citing his youngest daughter Bella’s poor health and the realities of the race (recent polls had him trailing Romney in his home state of Pennsylvania), Santorum’s brief remarks were more of a nostalgia trip than a plan of action for going forward. He pointedly did not endorse Romney.

Santrorum’s campaign was a long-shot, and for a while it looked like the lack of media coverage was entirely justified. He hovered in the low single digits for most of 2011 before rising, over the course of just a few weeks, to a first place finish in the Iowa caucuses, and he did it all on a shoe-string budget that saw him travel from one campaign event to the next in a supporter’s pickup truck. Santorum’s unforecasted success, primarily in the Deep South and Sun Belt, served as a constant reminder of Romney’s weakness among some of the GOP’s core consituencies—Evangelicals and people who make less than $250,000 a year.

The former Pennsylvania senator’s role going forward is unclear, but if history is any indication, his second-place primary finish would put him in good position for a second effort, November-permitting, in 2016. Here’s a look at what you might have missed from the campaign that was:

What’d we miss? Leave your memories below.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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