By Elizabeth Santorum

As I sit here at 12:30 in the morning writing this post, I’m reflecting on the long day I’ve had. After driving my dad around all day, I’m now faced with the fact that I’ve got to get up in four hours and do this all over again.   I sometimes ask myself “why am I doing this?” I was looking forward to being a junior at the University of Dallas this year and instead I find myself being a field staffer/phone banker/chauffeur/surrogate speaker for my dad. And quite honestly, I couldn’t be happier or more blessed

I have been to almost every Pizza Ranch, every Casey’s General Store, and all the HyVees in between.  From Sioux City to Des Moines to Cedar Rapids to Waterloo, I have taken the grand tour of America’s heartland. There are times when I wonder why I’m not sitting in the coffee shop on campus with my friends, lightheartedly discussing SNL videos, how bad the cafeteria is, what our plans are for Friday night or how absolutely swamped we are with school work. But this is where God wanted me.

And it is truly humbling.  I absolutely love commiserating with local businessmen about regulatory burdens, discussing solutions to Social Security with concerned grandmothers, and talking to other young people about the consequences that face our generation as a result of this broken economy.

Safe to say, I’ve learned a lot this semester and not just about policy and the intricacies of working on a campaign for president. I’ve learned something about true patriotism and what it looks like in action. Sometimes I imagine that the coffee shop meetings that have taken place in every county of Iowa during my dad’s campaign are not unlike the small, clandestine gatherings of the original revolutionaries in the back rooms of bars. Like those first revolutionaries, we gather in small groups as citizens and individuals who are concerned that we as a free people have lost our way. As I look around the room whether the crowd is one of 10 or 200, I see a microcosm of America. I see people working two or three jobs, single mothers, retired veterans, college students, big families. Everyday Americans with everyday problems.

People sometimes ask me if I am discouraged by the present state of America.  I always tell them that after traveling around Iowa,  it’s quite the opposite. I see in my dad the kind of leadership, ability, and willingness to sacrifice that so characterized the founding fathers. Glenn Beck recently compared my dad to George Washington; others have compared him to Winston Churchill. It’s a gracious comparison, but I do think that the three of them share a type of unique courage. It’s a courage that does not run from hardship or truth but that stands up and stands ready to defend freedom. Like our founders these three are willing to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

Now that I am older and have a different perspective than I did when dad first started in politics, I can look back on my dad’s life as a public servant and see how his sacrifices were a real gift to me. He and my mom taught me that serving your family, your community, your country, and your God came before self and they reinforced these lessons in action. Back in his days as a Congressman and then as Senator, my dad would leave the house at 5 am but was always home to tuck us in. He often reminded us that life is about what you invest not what you take away. As a first generation Italian-American who grew up on a V. A. base, he felt like he was living the American dream. Despite his humble beginnings, he was able to take part in shaping a brighter America to leave to us, his children.  And as I look back at his record I see that he did just that. From his earliest days as a freshman congressman, he was shaking things up with the Gang of Seven that exposed the House Banking scandal. He authored and won on Welfare Reform (the only bill that has successfully ended a federal entitlement program); he championed the Partial Birth-Abortion Act and educated the American public as to the true horror of abortion; he authored the Iran Freedom and Support Act and fought hard to raise awareness of the threat he saw looming in the Middle East. His long record of accomplishments illustrates his ability to fight and win on the important issues as a consistent conservative from the “purple” state of Pennsylvania.

Now, in his campaign for president, he continues to work hard and put together plans that will lead America to a brighter future. He has put forward a bold plan to reignite the American economy by revitalizing domestic manufacturing, to reinstate America as a major player on the international scene, and to restore the American family. This is the vision my dad brings to the table, and this is the America I am fighting to restore.

In the final days leading up to the Iowa Caucus, with endorsements coming in and polls going up, we are encouraged that we will see this vision unfold. We are counting on the people of Iowa to speak loudly on January 3rd to prove that to win Iowa, candidates still have to do the hard work and answer the tough questions. So with bleary eyes and high spirits, I can only say that I am here because I believe. I believe in America’s greatness. I believe in her exceptional people. I believe that my Dad is the right man for the right moment in our history. Like my Dad always says, in 2008, America elected someone they thought they could believe in. Now, in 2012, America will elect a president who believes in them.

Elizabeth Santorum is the daughter of Former Senator and Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

Kona Coffee

5 comments
  1. Elizabeth, What a beautifully written testiment to your dad. I have been so impressed and inspired by your dad, and in awe of the Santorum family. Thank you so much for sharing your father with us over these last many months. With all your travels you have earned the status of honorary Iowan. If I could tag your dad with a theme song I think it would be “Waiting for a hero” from the movie/play Footloose. God bless you, and Merry, Merry Christmas to you, your parents, and your sibs!
    Patti Brown (a/k/a/ Polly Twocents)

  2. So proud to be an American, and proud of you as a fine young lady being the patriot. Looking forward to the debate and January 3, for a “home run.” Rick Santorum is the real deal and you are so fortunate to have him as your father. WE THE PEOPLE are so fortunate that Santorum has “The Courage To Fight For America,” and the integrity, wisdom, and stamina to govern. Thanks for modeling for America, young and old, to make the right choice, right now. Patriots prevail, Larry Bateman, SCpatriot.com

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