Rick Santorum and Family Values

By Duane Shank 04-10-2012

Most of the first punditry around Rick Santorum suspending his quest for the Republican presidential nomination focuses on his drop in the Pennsylvania opinion polls and his difficulty in fundraising. Those were no doubt part of the decision. But there’s a deeper reason more important than political considerations.

As has been frequently reported, Sen. Santorum and his wife Karen’s youngest child Bella, was born with a rare and usually fatal chromosomal condition known as Trisomy 18. Bella, 3-years old, has been hospitalized twice already this year with pneumonia, most recently this past weekend.  Santorum took two days from campaigning to be with her.

In his press conference this afternoon, Santorum said:  "This was a time for prayer and thought over this past weekend. Just like it was when we decided to get into this race... we were very concerned about our role of being the best parents we possibly could to our kids."  While not directly saying his decision was due to his daughter’s illness, it was the clear implication. And a likely realization that one cannot be the best parent possible while running for president.

And for that, I salute Rick Santorum.  While many politicians talk about their commitment to family values, rarely do we see it so dramatically practiced. In this era, we are more likely to see male politicians in the news for their infidelities than for their loyalty.

I respect Sen. Santorum for the decision to put his family ahead of his political ambitions.  And I will keep him, his wife and family, especially Bella, in prayer.

 

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