Santorum's Poor Sense of Timing

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On Thursday, Santorum met with conservative leaders in northern Virginia to figure out a way to beat Mitt Romney, and the consensus was, "We need to make a midcourse correction," Richard Viguerie, a direct-mail expert, told The New York Times. It's an odd conclusion to draw, since  the 'mid" of the race seems to have passed few weeks ago.

Santorum only hired a delegate expert in March so the campaign could start "learning the rules," NBC News reported. That was a month after Santorum's wins in Colorado and Minnesota that restarted his campaign, weeks after he got crushed in Michigan and Arizona, and just before Super Tuesday, when Romney won six states. It was a little late to start learning the rules. Two weeks ago, Jonathan Bernstein described Santorum's delegate strategy as," hire someone who the national press knew well (that would be  campaign operative John Yob); have him write a silly memo making implausible but technically complex and murky claims about the 'real' delegate fight that was going on under the radar; and hope that the press was gullible enough to buy it."

On Friday, the Republican Party, at least, made clear it has not bought it. The memo assumes Florida, which was winner-take-all -- meaning first place Mitt Romney got all the votes -- will switch to proportionally allocating its delegates. The Florida Republican Party's spokesman told the Miami Herald that was a "delusional fantasy." Santorum is also hoping Texas will switch the other way -- from proportional to winner-take-all. As Politico's James Hohmann points out, the Republican National Committee says that would require a waiver -- and a spokesman noted "there is no basis for a waiver." Texas votes May 29. The Washington Post reports that Santorum is "very, very worried about losing Pennsylvania," his home state.

When Rick Santorum launched his presidential campaign, his wife said it was "God's will" -- something that spooked the kind of liberals who think the former senator has theocratic tendencies. But it should have worried his supporters, because Santorum seems to have such faith that God's working things out that he doesn't do what he needs to do till it's too late to do it.

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