Former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, threw his hat in the Republican nomination ring on On the Record with Greta VanSusteren tonight. No [exploratory] website, no video. Just a traditional television launch. He becomes the sixth Republican to announce the formation of an exploratory committee with the intent of exploring a bid for the White House. The senator's natural constituency among the early states is probably in Iowa and South Carolina -- He did win a straw poll in Greenville County, South Carolina over the weekend -- but even then he will face an uphill battle. He fills a niche on social issues possibly to the right of some of the other candidates, but may struggle to differentiate himself from them on economic matters, where the general election battle is likely to be waged. But in the primaries, invisible or otherwise, Santorum may serve the purpose of pulling some of his colleagues to the right on certain issues.
In other words, he may make some of the debates interesting, but won't ultimately go anywhere in terms of winning the nomination next year.
Buddy Roemer (exploratory: 3/3/11)
Rick Santorum (exploratory 4/13/11)