Former Sen. Rick Santorum's exit before the Pennsylvania primary was smart politics. Even if he were able to win that battle against former Gov. Mitt Romney, he would have still lost the war. And if he lost his home state, his star would have been further tarnished by the rejection, two times over.
His money had run out, he needed to be home for his daughter and family, and his options had been effectively shut down. Knowing when to fold 'em? Good move.
If Romney crashes and burns this November, Republicans will be saying, "You bet we should have nominated a solid conservative!" And you can be sure, it won't be former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 2016. It may not be Santorum, either, but at least he finishes with his head high, solid victories, and a come-from-behind campaign in the early primaries. He is on the radar screen.
And, of course, he can still point to Abraham Lincoln who lost a Senate race and went on to win the presidency!