Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has stuck to a small top campaign staff that adjusts on the fly. In doing so, the former Pennsylvania senator is defying critics who say he needs a bigger, more buttoned-down operation like that of front-runner Mitt Romney, Politico
Instead, Santorum relies on grassroots conservative supporters. His inner circle is small, containing only long-time aides and supporters. The strategy does have its downside. Santorum failed to make the ballot in Virginia, and was ineligible for delegates in some Ohio congressional districts.
On the other hand, though, Santorum has mounted a strong second-place challenge to Romney, with no sign of fading away soon.
Santorum has the tightest group of top strategists of any candidate except Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who no longer poses much of a threat in the race. The group’s unity has remained intact despite the addition of a coalitions director, digital staff and communications aides.
“What you see now is what we’ve seen [from Santorum] in Pennsylvania — smart, articulate, disciplined. I think the inner circle is very, very small,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who served in Congress with Santorum in the 1990s, told Politico. “It’s always been that way for Rick.”
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