Day By Day

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Coming Soon to a Town Near You -- Super Rick Santorum

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Super Rick!

Rick Santorum is everywhere and trying to be everything to everyone. There he is, in South Philly, ordering a cheesesteak at Geno’s…, in English! And now…, he’s inside, flipping steakums [well excuse me…, “shaved beef”] on the grill, waving at supporters outside. No question where he stands on the immigration issue…, he’s foursquare behind ordering cheesesteaks in English. None of that Mexcun lingo here! This is Amurica, by God!

And in case you missed the point he’s on the air, running ads charging that Bob Casey has “joined with Ted Kennedy [boo…, hiss] and other liberals in supporting a bill that grants amnesty to millions who have entered our country illegally!!!” [here]

Whoops…, there he is again, speaking to a group of women at Central Pennsylvania College in Cumberland County [funny, I never heard of the place and I used to live in Carlisle]. He’s being really, really sensitive and caring and trying to convince them that, no matter what they’ve heard, he’s strong on women’s issues. He is strong, he says, on education and on support for small businesses, many of which are run by women. [here] Heck, he even has a website devoted to testimonials from women on what a great guy he is --

And there he is at Haverford College [now that one I’ve heard of] meeting with Natan Sharansky and Daniel Pipes to demonstrate his continued support for Israel. And now he’s on the Senate floor defying the administration and trying to amend a defense authorization bill to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. It must be working. Rick ranks tenth among legislators in contributions from pro-Israel groups. [here]

And now he’s trying to convince moderate Republicans that he is not the wild-eyed religious zealot some have said he is. He has joined with Arlen Specter [Arlen Specter!!!] to propose a compromise on the stem-cell research issue. See guys, he really is flexible…, he can compromise even on religiously sensitive issues. No fundamentalist he! [here]

And of course there’s the big one. Super Rick has actually done it! He has found the missing WMDs in Iraq! Well…, maybe he didn’t exactly find them, but he has forced the administration to admit that more than 500 shells filled with sarin gas have been found. Here he is talking to Hugh Hewitt about it. He has singlehandedly [almost] pulled the administration’s butt out of the fire on that old “Bush lied” canard, and for that he is all over the TV screens getting oodles of free publicity.

What’s going on here?

Isn’t it obvious?

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Santorum trailing Casey by eighteen points, up from thirteen points last month. Worse, Casey is now over the 50% mark for the first time, and Rick has not put a dent in him, not at all. And he can’t blame Bush’s unpopularity any more. Bush is rising even as Rick is falling in the polls. What’s more, Rick is polling particularly poorly among women and in the Republican-leaning Philly suburbs. [here]

Hence the recent emphasis on women’s issues and on displaying moderation on religious issues.

Can Super Rick pull it off? Can he radically transform his image in a few short months? Can he begin to put a few dingers in Bob Casey’s cool?

One thing’s sure – if he does lose in November it won’t be for lack of effort.

Stay tuned…, Rick's not dead yet. This thing can still get interesting.

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