Going into Easter weekend, this seemed inevitable, and not for purely political cost/benefit calculations. Pundits who reckoned that way didn’t figure in the human factor.

CNN did.

Rick Santorum’s decision to drop out of the Republican presidential race came after he spent the holiday weekend evaluating the race with his family, who were grappling with the latest hospitalization of his 3-year-old daughter Bella…

“We made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over for me and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Santorum said during his speech in Gettysburg on Tuesday. “We will continue to fight for those voices for those Americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings.”

He also acknowledged the decision was not entirely political, saying the past weekend was a “time of prayer and thought” as he and his family cared for his daughter Isabella, the youngest of Santorum’s seven children, who suffers from Trisomy 18, a chromosomal condition….which causes severe medical and developmental problems.

There are all the political ramifications and analytical scenarios. And then there’s this:

A senior Santorum source said that Bella’s hospitalization was a major factor in the decision to bow out.

“When you have enough time with your adrenaline down, you start to think about what’s really important,” the source told CNN. Sitting in the hospital with his daughter for the second time during this campaign put that in perspective for Santorum, the source said.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....