Rick Santorum ended his run for the presidency yesterday. This is not breaking news for those who follow politics closely. But his decision brings down the curtain on the Republican primary season. It’s all over now except the official coronation of Mitt Romney as the nominee. More on that in a minute.

Santorum was the last best hope for those of us who sought a solid conservative nominee. Yet he was more than just the “anti-Romney” for me. He was a genuine Christian who had a foundational understanding of the Biblical principles upon which the nation needs to be grounded. He’s a good man who deserved better. We, as a nation, would have been better with him at the helm.

No one predicted Santorum would be a serious contender, let alone win ten states. His presence and successes underscored the weaknesses in Romney’s candidacy. One can only wonder where we would be now if Santorum could have pulled out Michigan and Ohio, states he lost by small margins. Those were crucial, and served as the turning point in his fortunes. He finally had to face the improbable odds of overtaking Romney’s lead in delegates.

Another factor in the decision—and not a small one—was the hospitalization over Easter of his three-year-old daughter Bella. Her rare condition is a constant source of concern for him and his family. Santorum says the decision to end his quest was a family decision, made jointly with his wife and children. For him, family came first, reminiscent of the title of his book It Takes a Family.

So while I am personally disappointed in this outcome, I respect his decision and honor him for making the attempt to lead this country, a country in dire need of principled leadership.

Where does this leave us? Mitt Romney will be the nominee without doubt. But my doubts about him remain the same. I’ve explained them before in previous posts and don’t have to do so again. I’m concerned that the Republicans are now heading into the general election with someone who doesn’t inspire, doesn’t create enthusiasm. Yet I will vote for him and do whatever is necessary to save the country from another Obama term. Yes, it’s sad when one’s vote is primarily a vote to remove someone else, but the extension of the Obama regime for another four years may spell the end of America as it should be.

May God help us even when we don’t deserve His help. That’s called mercy, and we need it badly.