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Former Pennsylvania senator and social conservative firebrand Rick Santorum may have come close to derailing Mitt Romney’s glide to the Republican presidential nomination, but now that he’s quit the race, the big question is how (and not whether) he endorses his former rival.

Having announced that he would end his campaign on April 10, Santorum has kept quiet, spending time with his family and emerging only to discuss his love of fantasy baseball and the need to defeat Barack Obama.

“He’s the person that is going to go up against Barack Obama it’s pretty clear and we need to win this race,” Santorum said of Romney on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” Tuesday. “We need to beat Barack Obama,” he repeated as he warded off multiple attempts by Morgan to get him to formally back Romney.

But even if some are wondering out loud what’s taking so long — Santorum did endorse and campaign for Romney in 2008 over John McCain — the election is still over six months from now, and it would be a mistake to read too much into his silence.

“This is still really early,” said David Karol, an expert on party dynamics at the University of Maryland. “There’s the psychological element. Campaigns are very personal for these guys. Look at how upset [Newt] Gingrich was when the barrage of Super PAC ads landed on him in Iowa. They’re human beings. It’s hard to turn it off the next day.”

As long as he eventually gets in line, then — and a planned meeting with Romney on May 4 suggests he will — Santorum does himself no harm by holding off on an official endorsement.

“He understands political imperative, and he presumably might want to run in 2016 if Romney loses, and in that situation, you want to show you were a good soldier,” said Karol.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz

Sean Parnell, the Trump-anointed candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, dropped out of the race a week ago after a custody hearing that featured lurid details of his relationship with his ex-wife. Laurie Snell alleged that Parnell had struck her, choked her, left her by the side of the road and hit one of their sons hard enough to leave a welt on the boy's back. Parnell countered that she had invented all of it.

Custody battles are infamous for exaggerated accusations and heated denials, and it's difficult for outsiders to know whom to believe and how much. But Parnell's comments off the witness stand didn't burnish his credibility. Appearing on Fox Nation, for example, Parnell opined, "I feel like the whole 'happy wife, happy life' nonsense has done nothing but raise one generation of woman tyrants after the next." He wasn't finished. "Now there's an entire generation of men that don't want to put up with the BS of a high-maintenance, narcissistic woman." Well. Someone seems to be dealing with anger issues. The would-be — er, rather, won't-be — senator concluded with a short sermon on biology: "From an evolutionary standpoint, it used to be, you know, women were attracted to your strength because you could defend them from dinosaurs." Where does the GOP find these geniuses?

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