Rick Santorum Chooses Family Over Country

Rick SantorumRick Santorum announced this afternoon that he was suspending his campaign and giving up his quest to be the Republican nominee for president.

The announcement came on the heels of his 3-year-old daughter Bella's hospitalization with pneumonia. Bella was born with a chromosomal condition and wasn't expected to make it past her first year. Although she's been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home, her health has faltered before while her father has been on the campaign trail, and I thought often about how conflicted he must have been about staying in the race instead of spending as much time as possible with his daughter.

From a parent's perspective, I think that Rick Santorum absolutely made the right decision. What about you?

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After my two interviews with Santorum, I was convinced that he's a committed dad who takes his job as a parent very seriously. I wrote earlier about how impressed I was with his children. I had a chance to meet four of them, and as someone who has raised two teens to adulthood myself, I can tell you that they were way more poised, confident, and well-spoken than average. I may not agree with Santorum's politics, but I was definitely impressed by his skill as a father.

That's why his decision to leave the race in the wake of his daughter's illness doesn't really surprise me at all. I think he really struggled with being away from her -- check out he and his wife's tears in telling CafeMom Bella's story during out Coffee Break with him a couple of months ago -- and I'm guessing that this latest hospitalization was the last straw for him, particularly since the Republican Party at last seems to be coalescing behind Mitt Romney.

That's my take on it -- what's yours? Do you think Rick Santorum made the right decision? Does this give you more respect for him as a father?

 

Image via Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

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