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.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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