Keeping up with the Kandidates: So long, Santorum

Heartbreak is not a feeling that’s exclusively tied in with love. It’s better to associate it with loss. We’re heartbroken when we’re missing pieces of who we are, pieces we have lost.

Today, Rick Santorum, his staff and all of his supporters are heartbroken. People who once believed Santorum was going to be the next president are now left with doubt and insecurity; they broke their own hearts.

Santorum started on top, coming out of nowhere to win the Iowa Caucus. As time went on, Newt Gingrich appeared to make it a two-horse race with Mitt Romney. I thought Santorum would be out of the race in due time. Instead, he went on a winning spree, sweeping Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado all in one day. Within a few weeks, the race was considered to be between Santorum and Mitt Romney.

But something went wrong. In recent weeks, Santorum began to fade faded and Romney seemed to be sliding into the home stretch. Santorum knew there was no catching Romney. He quit.

Over the weekend, Gingrich said that he will not suspend his campaign, even though he knows Romney will win the nomination. Gingrich wants to stick around a little longer to spread his conservative message to the people. Sounds like a waste of money to me.

Ron Paul will eventually back down and run as an independent.

For weeks now, Romney’s winning the Republican race hasn’t been a matter of if, but when. Although it’s not official, Santorum stepping down today pretty much secures the nomination for Romney.

God only knows what Santorum is feeling right now. I have a feeling that, as with any loss, he is about to go through the five stages of grief.

He’s already been in denial, lingering in the race for a few more weeks, thinking he could win. He may have some anger directed toward Romney and all of those who tried to sabotage his campaign (Santorum defined).

He’s bargaining with himself, saying the fight to get his message out isn’t over and maybe he’ll make a run in four or eight years. But mostly, he’s depressed. Nearly a year’s work and millions of dollars gone, but for what?

I, personally, am experiencing bittersweet symptoms. Over the past few months, I’ve grown an emotional connection with all of these kandidates. Watching one leave the race is hard. However, for me, it’s a time to rejoice. We are just one step closer to the 2012 election and the history that will come with it.

My prediction? Romney and Barack Obama will do everything they can to get the nation to hate each other. I, in turn, will emerge from the other side loving both of them. But it’s too soon to talk about rejoicing for them.

Let’s rejoice for  Santorum. It was one hell of a run.

— Juan Cervantes is a junior history major and student blogger for The Diamondback

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