BOSTON (CBS) – Rick Santorum had his opportunity.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

He surprised everyone by winning in Iowa, and if he’d gone straight to South Carolina and capitalized on the reactionary mood of the voters there, he might have generated a real head of steam.

But Santorum let his ego get the better of him.

He wasted time and money in New Hampshire while Newt Gingrich was camping out in South Carolina, wasted more time and money in Florida, and blew his chance to reach out beyond his arch-conservative base with foolish comments and forays into subjects most voters had little interest in.

This is the value of campaigns, excruciatingly long, expensive ordeals for all concerned that do have a way for exposing the true character of the candidates involved, for better and for worse.

This campaign revealed Santorum to be feisty and a hard worker, but also a hothead lacking superior discipline.

So, what has the campaign told us about the all-but-presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney?

Nothing we here in Massachusetts didn’t already know.

For starters, that he is a man of relentless ambition who will do whatever it takes to execute his game plan.

And, if you get in his way or incur his displeasure, you are in trouble.

You can add the names of Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and company to those of Jane Swift, Bill Bulger, Matt Amorello, and others who ran afoul of Romney back here.

We have seen that Romney remains a work in progress, capable of improvement as a debater and campaigner.

And we know that he’s smart and decent, just like the president he will now try to unseat.

For the third time in the last 24 years, a major-party nominee for president will be a Massachusetts politician.

If you go back to 1960, it’s the fourth time.

(Insert your own joke here.)

But one thing I can tell America for certain – you will laugh off Mitt Romney’s chances of winning at your own peril.

Comments (19)
  1. yamstar1 says:

    Jon, I don’t get why WBZ has such a bug up their … for Romney. Even the title of this article “Beware of Romney”. Then to include Matt Amorello as someone who “crossed” Romney. Amorello was rightfully fired for his mismanagement of the Pike and is lucky that Mitt didn’t deck him in that famous piece of film walking into the tunnel with the Governor after that women was killed. People have shown their support for him in dozens of primaries across many states of varied rebublican demographics. I doubt very much that the DNC and the Obama re-election committee is laughing at Romney.

  2. dan says:


    1. FireGuyFrank says:

      Um, Dan, Jon provides commentary, which is clearly labeled as such. Thus the segment name “Keller At Large”.

      You are correct, a true journalist/reporter is not supposed to give opinion, but that no longer happens.

  3. dan says:

    john keller needs another job…

  4. Ollie says:

    I’m disappointed but not surprised by your latest commentary in which you continue your redundant and gratuitous observations regarding Rick Santorum. Give us a break; at least four At Large attacks on Santorum in the last 3 weeks. To paraphrase the title of the 1973 novel by Jacqueline Susann, Once Is Enough! We get the message; few disagree. But why waste your time on a candidate whose star is clearly on the decline, if not already set.

    Why not have an At Large commentary focusing on a president who has made ‘foolish’ (one of your Santorum attack-words) statements about how the Supreme Court can’t overturn “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”? How’s that for a ‘foot-in-mouth’ (another of your Santorum-related attack words) assertions? This from a Harvard law graduate and a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago? By the way, the “strong majority’ was a 1-vote majority in the Senate. Or Obama’s statement that he wanted to “look at an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president”?; Or the President’s attacks on the opposition of the Church to the question of payment for female contraception?

    I suggest you spend some time on these more important topics rather than wasting your time and ours on a 2nd tier candidate for the Republican nomination. But be careful, you might begin to sound like a right-wing talk show host!!

    1. Gail says:

      Great comment!

    2. Steve says:


      You hit the nail on the head .I could not have said it better myself. Why Jon appears to be obsessed with Rick Santorum’s faults is beyond me.

      Jon should have concentrated on Romney and left his usual Santorum comments on the editorial-room floor.

    3. dan says:

      you know something..I don’t know how old any of you are..rick santorum reminds me of dan quayle….not the brightest bulb on the tree. i wonder if quayle knows how to spell…TOMATO[E] YET WITH AN E …..MY SON AT THE TIME WAS 3YRS OLD AND HE COULD SPELL TOMATO!!!!

  5. petem says:

    Sorry Jon, I don’t get the ‘joke’ associated with JFK? Not sure a joke is appropriate for a President who was assassinated..

  6. sean says:

    Jon is doign exactly what he is paid to do, get people to the website and read the stories, no different than a radio shock jockey

    1. bees knees says:

      I think you are right except I don’t think it’s shock jock type commenting. IMHO it’s as it is.

  7. bees knees says:

    Wow – more than interesting comments. First, the attack on Santorum – how do you not attack him when he invites it? As far as reporting the news – this is a blog and one of the intents of a blog is to create an atmosphere for discussion. I always feel it’s done well here. And I completely agree that anyone who laughs off Romney should take a very hard look at what it’s based on. I believe he is the ONLY contender the GOP in its current field that has a chance

    Petem, I didn’t read the joke as being associated with JFK but with so many from MA – I could well be wrong.

    1. gramps says:

      No, you’re correct!

      petem, hasn’t a clue…


      He’ll be here all week….

      1. Bees knees says:

        I can’t remember a comment by Pete M I haven’t agreed with. Should I feel good about you agreeing with me? Makes me more than slightly nervous.

      2. petem says:

        I haven’t a clue? Coming from you that’s rich!
        Unlike some who comment regularly here I have no interest in playing nice-nice with you or anyone else. The issues we have to wrestle are huge and serious and to have Jon waste time on Santorum just cause it drives eyes to the blog is sad. The last 3 years have seen the right oppose the president on EVERYTHING he has proposed EVEN when he came around and proposed something they originally came up with. Case in point is the mandate in the healthcare law. In 1991, Bush 41 ‘received it very well’ according to this article.

      3. petem says:

        i love the sound of poodles jumping around

  8. massman says:

    The GOP Presidential race has been anything but entertaining. I’m encouraged to see Mr. Keller critical of Mr. Santorum. He, along with most of the other candidates have shown how out of touch (insane) they are. The “anybody but Mitt” mantra has failed. That same crowd will now try to encourage an “anything but Obama” campaign. That will not win. Romney will first have to defend his ridiculous positions forced upon him by the fringe right. Republicans need to end their civil war, prior to defeating the incumbent President.

  9. JohnC says:

    Non of the GOP candidates have any chance of being elected President; I am basically a conservative; but Mitt has the best chance, but we will have four more years of President Barack Obama.

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