GOP hopeful Rick Santorum is not my first choice for a Presidential candidate (he or she, as the case may be, is not running this time, unfortunately), and his nomination is by no means assured. Nevertheless, in such anticipation, I have a modest observation and suggestion.
For the first 160 years or so of our Republic, Presidents have been of British (English, Scottish, Scots-Irish) or Dutch (in at least three cases) ancestry. Those of German heritage got their chance with Eisenhower in 1952, the Irish progeny in 1960, and now those of African ancestry (sub-Saharan, anyway) have had their due.
Immigrants from Italy came to the U.S. nearly as early as the Irish, and did so in significant numbers. Italian-Americans certainly did their part in making the Roman Catholic Church the largest single religious denomination in the United States. And who can help but notice that pizza has eclipsed even hot dogs as our national dish! If Santorum were to be the nominee, he should loudly and often proclaim his Italian-American heritage and identity. Maybe he could name Godfather Herman Cain as his consiglieri, er, chief of staff. Back in the early 1960s, the political thriller Seven Days in May, whose plot was set in the 1970s, had a Vice-President who was Italian-American. Wouldn’t you say it’s about time?
Santorum could have Marco Rubio as VP nominee, thus giving those of Spanish ancestry a leg up for a future run. Or Eric Cantor could do the same for Jewish-American. Joe Lieberman came close in 2000, but we all know that story.
All in the name of fairly sharing.