Those of you who know me are aware of my personal feelings toward my former Senator, Rick Santorum. For many years I thought very highly of him, and I even considered him to be one of – if not my favorite – politicians. I remember getting his 2005 book “It Takes A Family” and reading it cover to cover in my dorm room at American. I volunteered on the 2006 campaign, both as a DC-based task force leader and as an intern in the suburban Philadelphia area.
Today he is my least favorite candidate in the GOP presidential race. Not only did he thoroughly embarass Keystone state Republicans in 2006, but the more I learned about him, the more I grew to dislike him. Heck, I would rather have Sarah Palin be the nominee.
There is one reason and one reason only that he is polling so well in Iowa tonight: pure luck. He was the final flavor of the month, the only person that the media hadn’t yet scrutinized that could be viewed as the anti-Romney candidate. Had he gotten this momentum just one week earlier – or had the holidays not interfered in the process – Iowans (and Americans) would have learned how crazy Santorum truly is, and the race would be between Romney and Paul. For example:
1. Santorum lost his 2006 bid for reelection to a guy who ran a shoddy campaign but could afford to do so because his name wasn’t Rick Santorum. (It just so happens to also be the name of one of the state’s most beloved Democratic governors…)
2. Santorum’s ran his 1990 campaign for Congress attacking the Democratic incumbent for becoming a Washington insider who no longer cared about his constituents. Santorum focused on the fact that his opponent had recently purchased a house in suburban DC and had all but relocated to Washington. Yet fast forward 16 years and you have Santorum doing just that. In 2006 Santorum and his family lived in a $750K McMansion in Leesburg while claiming their primary residence was a two-bedroom house in Penn Hills. Additionally Santorum’s kids were being cyber schooled at the taxpayers’ expense to avoid going to school in Virginia. Bob Casey’s campaign filmed the Penn Hills house for a commercial, and found it mostly bare. In essence Santorum partially lost the race on the same principle he effectively won his first race on.
3. Senator Man on Dog. Do I really need to go into this one?
4. The 800lb gorilla: Santorum’s stillborn son, Gabriel.
And then I wonder why I can’t wait for this race to be over…