Finally, Conservatives Get a 'Worthy' Foe for Romney Rick Santorum is the real deal: Charles Krauthammer By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 6, 2012 11:14 AM CST 55 comments Comments Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop with college students Thursday in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) (Newser) – Rick Santorum gets Charles Krauthammer's blessing today, not necessarily as the candidate who should be nominee but as the first "admirably worthy conservative alternative" to Mitt Romney. Yes, others have risen and fallen quickly, but Santorum is different, writes Krauthammer in the Washington Post. "He is the first challenger to be plausibly presidential: knowledgeable, articulate, experienced, of stable character and authentic ideology." What's more, his Iowa finish disproves the notion that he's not electable—and gives him scads of free media attention. If he makes it through the next three primaries in respectable fashion, he'll have time to get a national campaign in place before Super Tuesday in March, writes Krauthammer. It's been quite a race so far, and with an angry Newt Gingrich hanging around, don't expect things to change. "Is this any way to pick a president? Absolutely. It works. It winnows." And it just produced Santorum.