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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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