That’s okay. Rick Santorum ran out of money in 2006, too.

I don’t like this guy, but despite the number of legitimate reasons not to, all of which are persuasive if not compelling, I can’t put my finger on exactly why he bugs me so much. Maybe its just that, for someone obsessed with cultivating an “everyman” image designed to appeal to the middle class, he’s kind of a skeezy, disingenuous politician-y guy.

For all his attempts to be “earnest,” and all his effort to look like Ned Flanders, he’s less the kind of guy your family would turn to in a time of need and more the kind of guy you secretly flip off after he gets off an elevator because he made a snarky comment about how your skirt is so short you can see your knees. Maybe I’m talking from personal experience – like you know “those guys” when you go to a conservative Catholic law school, the ones who are counting up your sins and secretly telling your boyfriend that you’re cute but you’re way too opinionated for your own good as a female – but he’s just…icky.

Like this. Today, Santorum, who is looking at at least single digit losses in a majority of states on Super Tuesday (if not embarrassing third place finishes to Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul), is complaining that he’s running out of campaign cash and has had to dip into his family’s life savings in order to maintain his quest to save the world from itself and sleeves with sweaters.

“I walked away from all of the jobs that I had and all the money,” Santorum said at the Dayton Christian School. He and his wife Karen have been “spending down our savings,” he said.

“That’s not necessarily the best thing to do when you have three kids entering college in the next three years, but our country is worth it,” he said.

Well, according to Santorum of Two Weeks Ago, not everyone needs to attend college (which is true, people), but more importantly, this is less of a complaint and more of a campaign tactic. In 2006, when Santorum was facing what looked like a career-ending loss to a more pragmatic candidate, he also resorted to guilting the population of Pennsylvania.

“I’ve got six kids and they’re young. I’ve got a 15 year old daughter who is going to be going to college, and there ain’t a lot of money in the Santorum bank accounts to send her to college. So there’s a lot of things I could be doing that probably financially could be taking better care of my family.”

Santorum had no chance of winning that race, and the way the Super Tuesday polls are looking, he has little chance of pulling out a victory here, either. And while I’m temptted to say that “a fool and his money are soon parted” (or, alternatively, “not this sh*t again“) campaigns are actually a pretty good investment if you play your cards right. Like Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential bid, your campaign can take donations forever, if you lend money to it and charge interest. Santorum can make back every penny plus some by taking future earnings as as donations to pay off his current campaign’s debt. Occasionally, if the other candidates are really desperate to get someone to drop out of a race, they might offer to pay back some of the campaign debt, as well, which could also be Santorum’s angle here, if tomorrow he really craps out.

And that’s assuming that he doesn’t land a cushy job as a Fox News contributor or a neat little berth on the church speaking circuit. Former candidates with rock star potential can earn a buttload in book deals, appearance fees and SuperPAC work, so its not like the pain will last forever.

And then you wonder why people become politicians…

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  1. Jill
  2. lew mazza

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