Rick Santroum sent an email to his supporters on Monday night announcing that he would back Mitt Romeny for the presidency and that everyone needs to support "our nominee" to defeat Barack Obama. In a long explanation, which is also posted on his website, Santorum says that he spoke to Romney last week and received assurances that "family and its foundational role in America’s economic success" are also important to the former governor, too. He also says that he's "comfortable" with Romney's foreign policy positions and that he's convinced Romney will repeal Obamacare if elected, so don't worry about all that stuff I said about him being a terrible candidate.

While not exactly a heartfelt and unconditional sign of loyalty, Santorum does spell out the bottom line for his constituents: "four more years of President Obama is simply not an option." So he and everyone else are going to have to suck it up. To wit:

Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.

It's slightly telling that Santorum chose to make the endorsement in writing, rather than in person, as most failed politicians do. There may be a time in the not-too-distant future where the two rivals publicly make amends, but doing it in this way allows Santorum  to stand behind the party while keeping Romney honest. Romney will get his delegates and his fundraising support, but if he thinks he's getting a big speech and the photo op and then Rick Santorum will be out of his life forever, it won't be that simple. He plans to hold Romney to those promises by keeping a few more small favors in his pocket. (Santorum's letter also drops hints about another big announcement coming soon.)