At Pennsylvania Society festivities this weekend, one of the main topics of conversation was whether or not former Senator Rick Santorum will launch a presidential campaign next year.

Santorum has made nearly two dozen exploratory trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

The two-term Senator, who lost to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006, says he’s “kicking the tires” on a run for the Republican presidential nomination.

"You look at whether there’s support there on the ground for what your vision is," says Santorum. "The kind of person you are. The kind of record you have. Your ability to communicate and motivate."

Governor Rendell predicts Santorum’s campaign could take off, under the right circumstances.

 

Says Rendell, "If Sarah Palin doesn’t run, there will be a conservative who will capture a significant portion of the vote. It could be Rick Santorum. There’s no question about it. It depends if she runs. It depends if Mike Huckabee runs."

Santorum side-stepped questions about how he’d compete with Palin.

He says he expects most of the Republican candidates to formally launch their campaigns in the spring, compared to the coming months.