Congratulations Rick Santorum. YOU ARE THE NEW NON-ROMNEY!
You have no money, no infrastructure, no real campaign staff and are about to get hit with $4 Million in negative ads from the PR (Perry/Romney) professional misleading ad team. And if Crazy Uncle Paul couldn’t find primo stuff in Sioux City to soothe his little Soros-lovin’ heart, he might be just PO’d enough to jump on you too.
But hey!! CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU are our new Conservative LEADER!
I’m willing to concede that you, Rick Santorum, are our most conservative candidate. I mean when Don Wildmon of the American Family Association thinks you’re too conservative - you win! You’re the uber-conservative! (And AFA might not even be considered Christian anymore since they picked that adulterer Gingrich. Yeah, he repented a long time ago, but all that mercy and forgiveness crap is for the liberal Christians, right?)
And don’t you mind those pesky little admissions that you LIKED earmarks, you voted for more big government programs than Newt, or that you chose to endorse a pro-abortion specter over a truly pro-life case of conservative. You and I will continue to believe you are the ONLY principled candidate just like Bachmann was the ONLY true conservative, ok? Our little secret.
But you have a couple of problems we need to address before you take on the Mormon-in-Chief or the Marxist-in-Chief.
The first is your image. You are so preppy looking, at first glance it might seem you’d have a tough time against 13 year old Malia let alone her father. I’ve got a little mantra I need you to repeat. “Don’t Be Dukakis.” You remember him right? The guy who shot down his chances to beat Bush 1 for President by looking like a scared second grader on a field trip to the armory in a tank. (And against the ultimate preppy George HW that took some doing.). Maybe carry one of your rifles with you at all times. Just don’t wear any plaid or the aviation thermal cap like Elmer Fudd. And by the way…please burn every sleeveless sweater you own. It ain’t workin.’
Also you might like to start practicing speaking in a lower register. You were downright annoying at times in the debates, and against Obama’s Mr. Cool lounge act, you will come off as that annoying kid we never wanted to sit with at lunch. At the end of the day Obama won NOT because of ideas but because he seemed like a President. The last 20% of voters who didn’t tune into until October 25th flipped on NBC, watched half of a debate, and tried to figure out if he looked and sounded like he knew what the hell he was doing. Did he look like a President, you know, someone who could be “in command” at all times. I hate to break it to you Rick, but God did not bless you with the Gary Cooper/John Wayne/Clint Eastwood thing. Reagan had it in spades and Bush had just enough to make himself likeable. JFK didn’t beat Nixon on debating points and you somewhere you have to reach into your inner Julio Iglesias.
The coming Palinization of you. Now I have to be honest with you on the next one Congressman. Not only are you going to have to face a billion dollars of negative ads on Obama, and a hostile press who hate the in your face faith mantra you just can’t quit talking about; you will face a militant gay mafia who will forgo whip cream latte’s from now until November just to fund another billion dollars of ads to publicize your rather unfortunate remarks about banning adultery as well as sodomy. Unlike anyone but Michele Bachmann, they are convinced you will turn the Constitution into Christian sharia. What they did to Cain is nothing compared what you will face. And unfortunately it will work because you don’t have much money to buy TV ads to establish your image yourself. They will do it for you.
Even if you (finally) convince the 22% of all Americans who are dedicated social conservative voters to back you fully, it is the OTHER 29% of American voters who are non-liberals you have to convince. They not only have to see you as “presidential,” but likeable and mainstream. (I know, right? How weird that the truly normal Pennsylvania American has to worry about being “mainstream” against a [possibly] Hawaiian born, private schooled, drug abuser who embraced Marxism and didn’t even grow up in America during his childhood? Crazy.) Bachmann really couldn’t stand the heat. Perry tried to be even goofier by making fun of himself which may be great for likeability, but doesn’t make him any more Presidential. It certainly doesn’t erase the perception he’s smart enough to be President. You don’t suffer that problem. But you will need some help to start attacking this perception now and you failed most recently with Chris Wallace who would talk of nothing else.
I honestly don’t know how you are going to do to this. You don’t have the rhetorical skill of Gingrich or the smooth con man thing Mitt does. While you are able to argue foreign policy and specific legislative minutia, we have yet to see you inspire anyone including, if we are honest, most conservatives. Sorry, but you’re kind of like the last available girl to go to primary prom and we haven’t even had the nerve to do a slow dance with you yet. Somewhere you are going to have develop some “non-needy” speaking skills not just to sell Americans on you, but on the big programs and legislative initiatives the Democrats won’t want to go along with. You simply won’t survive the media long enough to get a crack at the Obamanator himself.
TEAM. Frankly, it worries me you lost your Senate seat by 18 points while GW was still in the White House. If you couldn’t sell yourself to your own constituents you’d been serving for 14 years, you are going to have pull some magic mouth-mojo out of your pretty Pennsylvania top hat. And somehow you’ll have to explain why not a single Federal lawmaker would endorse you when even Radical Ron had 3 sitting congressman endorsement. (Any of your sons old enough to run for Senate in Kentucky?) I mean, Gingrich got Ronald Reagan’s son and perhaps the most famous living economist who was directly responsible for the greatest economic growth in history. You’re going to need to somehow bring some street cred to the brawl with President Obama. A few more years than the Illinois Senator, no executive experience and few votes won’t make a clear enough banner for people to flock to. You’d still be the uptight “fundamentalist” Christian who spent too much on PA according to Obama with LESS executive experience. BUT, you can combat some of that with not just endorsements, but with a “TEAM” people will acknowledge. Gingrich has been very smart to start telling people not just that Palin likes him (as you did), but PAINT IN THEIR MINDS who else would be running this thing with him. Palin as Energy Secretary or VP, Bolton as Secretary of State. (Perry has Sheriff Joe to arrest Barack Obama – you get the picture.)
Now onto the hard stuff.
It’s the economy stupid! I’m not sure how it managed to pass the notice of your fawning conservative followers but you have perhaps the weakest economic plan of all the conservative candidates. No fair tax. The highest income tax of all the candidates. Twelve percent capital gains taxes when every other candidate is zero. The second highest corporate tax rate for everyone but manufacturers (What, service companies and sales people can’t be incentivized too?) Word is Herman is shopping an endorsement for someone to embrace his 9-9-9 plan. Although you made it sound like Cain was crazier than Pelosi on peyote – you might want to have a “flip-flop” of your own and actually adopt a CONSERVATIVE economic plan since you are supposed to be THE conservative. Cain’s could still be yours… if the price is right.
And don’t worry about the earmark thing. In a general election no one will give a crap. But bury THIS 2005 speech where you basically say you like big government. You’re overall positions and votes are better than Barack’s and frankly it will negate the “cold heartless Republican” line Obama will want to use on you. But you need to start talking about a “Big” economic plan and frankly, you ain’t got one.
You have got some serious work to do now that you are the CONSERVATIVE SAVIOR! But you can do it! No one thought you would actually WIN Iowa and you did!
And don’t worry about all that crap Romney and Paul were throwing at you this past week on the campaign trail. As long as you can beat Obama we not only will take you to EVERY dance this next year, we’ll go steady! We only have IOW-AYES for you!
(You can beat Obama, right?)
Pssst, Perry? Gingrich? Stick around just in case ok?