The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Santorum: ‘We Feel Very Good’

Posted on | August 14, 2011 | 28 Comments

NEWTON, Iowa — One of the most unexpectedly pleasant dividends of this trip was getting to meet Rick Santorum and his family. It was unexpected because I hadn’t really planned to cover the Santorum campaign, but just happened to notice that he had an event Aug. 6 (a day when I otherwise had nothing to cover) and decided to try to squeeze it into my schedule. Partly, this was a favor for Lisa Graas, who is a huge Santorum fan. And when I went to the event, featuring a candidate whom nobody gave a chance, my instinctive sympathy for long shots and underdogs kicked in.

After the votes were counted Saturday Santorum (whose fundraising amounted to about $600,000) got more straw-poll votes (1,657) than Mitt Romney (567), Newt Gingrich (385) and Jona Huntsman (67) combined. So it’s a pretty good bet that the people who contributed that first $600,000 will be willing to pony up a few thousand more — and thus his low-budget campaign will keep going.

Here’s the video of my brief interview with Santorum shortly after the results were announced:

Can Rick Santorum possibly win the GOP nomination? No political prognosticator would give you odds on that. But crazier things have happened and, in fact, who ever imagined I’d ever make it to Iowa to cover the debate and straw poll?

As far as getting back home . . . Hey, you remember I bought a one-way ticket here, right? So now I’ve got to figure out how I’ll get home, and it’s time for those five famous words: Hit the freaking tip jar.

Comments

  • http://profiles.google.com/betoochoa78722 Beto Ochoa

    T-Paw is out. Suddenly, I feel more alert and awake.

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  • http://zillablog.marezilla.com Zilla of the Resistance

    I’ve been rattling your jar and explaining to my readers both at the Zilla blog and the A-C page how yo are the last REAL reporter and how fortunate Conservatives are to have you on OUR side. My magnum opus for the right blogosphere   is heavily devoted to you and the need for patriotic Americans to hit your tip jar.  I hope it helps! Thank you so very much for all of your hard work and for all of the great coverage of Rick Santorum!

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Vote for Michelle Bachmann. Cos its high time America had a real man for First Lady.

  • http://profiles.google.com/betoochoa78722 Beto Ochoa

    None of the other candidates can take a Corn Dog like that!

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised Pawlenty gave up that easily, lack of killer instinct I suspect.

  • The Wondering Jew

    Santorum has even less of a chance than Ron Paul of winning the
    Presidency (and let me be clear that Paul has no chance, but at least he
    has managed to tie Obama in some legitimate, respected,  3rd party
    polls– Santorum lost his senate seat by 18 points– as an incumbent in a
    swing state.).  If he inspires you and represents your vision for the party, by all means support him for that reason, but I hope you don’t do so under the illusion that he has any chance of assuming the office.

    My view is that he takes away attention from candidates who could
    actually win who have most of his issue profile. But based on this straw
    poll showing perhaps he could do well in the Iowa caucuses and build
    some momentum there. 

  • http://zillablog.marezilla.com Zilla of the Resistance

    My most important issues are recognizing the threat of islam with it’s relentless jihad and sharia, national security, national defense, foreign policy issues, and CRIMINAL ALIEN INVADERS. Rick Santorum is head and shoulders above ALL the rest in the GOP field in these areas, I know because I have done extensive research about this. And I am not buying anything the MSM or RNC RINO machine is selling about who the “front runners” are because they are all wrong and not reporting facts but propagandizing for their own agenda. Conservatives do themselves and this country a huge disservice by not looking closer at Rick Santorum – especially on the issues I stated above. For further information, I refer you to my post about RS:
    http://zillablog.marezilla.com/2011/05/how-about-rick-santorum-for-president.html
    and also this post about the agenda driven establishment and the MSM (who have both just been proven to be ALL WRONG with their Romney hype) : http://zillablog.marezilla.com/2011/08/do-you-want-americas-future-decided-by.html

    Edited to add: Also, see Lisa Graas, she knows more about the Rick Santorum campaign than anybody: http://blog.lisagraas.com/

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I’m not surprised, its perfectly in keeping with his character as I’ve
    observed it over two debates. Can you see this guy in a debate with
    Obama? He would be a disaster. People know it too, which is why he
    couldn’t get any appreciable level of support even after spending more 
    than a million dollars. People want somebody that will take off the kid gloves against Obama, and that damn sure is not Pawlenty.

  • Anonymous

    I follow the logic of his bowing out, but not doing so, so quickly. Unless he had already decided on a set of criteria, losing to Ron Paul by such a wide margin for instance. He certainly didn’t have much time to canvas his supporters or donors, candidates don’t usually drop out the morning after their first setback.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    It had to have been a humiliating experience to him, losing to Michelle Bachmann by such a wide margin. You saw how he went after her during the debate. The Ames results could almost be seen as a repudiation of that. And that would be the best way he could have read them. Otherwise, you see them as a reflection of the prevailing voter sentiment. Plus the money was drying up already. He was looking at the prospect of not being able to pay his workers before long. He just saw the handwriting on the wall. That handwriting said, “Tim-get the fuck out”.

  • Anonymous

    I suspect losing to Ron Paul by almost as much proved much more alarming. We had two distinct approaches to “Minnesota nice” I much prefer the one we’re left with.

  • Anonymous

    Followed your links, good work on your part and first rate thinking on foreign and immigration policy by Rick Santorum. The shame is Ron Paul’s ideas are likely to get more coverage.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    So do I. But honestly, Ron Paul is not a factor. Everybody suspected he would place at least second or third. Many thought he might win, and he came close to doing it. But at the end of the day had Paul not been in the race the Paultards would have stayed home and the overall results would have been the same, just different numbers. Pawlenty would have gotten the exact same number of votes, which actually would have caused him to contrast to Bachmann even worse.

  • The Wondering Jew

    @ThePaganTemple:disqus Pagan Considering that Paul and his fairly close ally Michele Bachmann just took a solid majority of the straw poll.  (See link below for info on Bachmann’s recent past support of Paul), I’d hardly say he’s “not a factor”.

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2011/06/remember_when_bachmann_once_le.php

    I really don’t want to be the “Ron Paul, Ron Paul” guy on this forum, because Paul has plenty of  faults and there are plenty of other candidates out there I like–Bachmann among them, but I’ll do it if I have to. Train your fire on the GOP establishment– they are the enemy– not Ron Paul.

  • http://zillablog.marezilla.com Zilla of the Resistance

    Thank you! And yes, it is a shame, that’s why the blogs are so important! 

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I like Ron Paul for the most part, and I agree with him on most things. It’s just those things where I don’t agree with him where he makes me want to tear my hair out. That stupid shit he was spouting about Iran the other night is a prime example of what I’m talking about. Stupid beyond words. You could take the exact same line of shit, transplant it into the mouth of Dennis Kucinich and nobody would notice.

    And then there’s his support from the 9/11 Truther movement. To say nothing of Stormfront. When your strongest supporters are Nazis on the one hand, and psychotic conspiracy theory idiots on the other, you owe it to yourself to repudiate them. It takes a man of character to repudiate that kind of support, even though it might initially cost you support. But he doesn’t have the integrity to do that.

    Instead, he throws gasoline on the fire of insanity by being a regular guest on the Alex Jones Show. What do you expect me to do, just shut my eyes and ears and act like this shit is no big deal?

  • The Wondering Jew

    This is a reasonable position, and when stated this way, I am much more comfortable with it.  But FWIW speaking as someone with personal experience with Paul’s grassroots, Stormfront types were almost non-existent (I certainly never met one), and truthers fairly marginal.  Paul just isn’t in to playing games with denouncing supporters, even the pretty batshit crazy ones.  This actually costs him a lot of mainstream support (as your comments well indicate), and at times it is frustrating, but that is just the way he is wired given his views of the importance of choice and freedom.  It doesn’t mean he supports their views.

     But Ron Paul isn’t talking about controlled demolitions or whatever the obsessions are of his wilder supporters.  He’s taking the lead on a lot of issues related to  The Constituion, economics, federalism, and freedom that the rest of the GOP had abandoned in action (if not in rhetoric)  until recently.  It wasn’t by scrupulously following a vision of limited Constitutional government organized around freedom that has led this country into the ditch– it was the GOP’s trying to be Democrat-lite or engaging in multi-trillion dollar fantasies about global democratization that has weakened the party. Ron Paul hasn’t caused the GOP to embrace truthers or Alex Jones– but he has done a lot to move the GOP to a vision of more limited, Constitutional government.  That’s a big net plus in by book.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    I’m wondering when Gov. Huntsman will get the message. Sixty-seven votes! Yikes.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I understand what you’re saying, but don’t you see that when he appears on a regular basis on the Alex Jones Show, that makes it look like he’s purposely trying to appeal to that crowd? And then there’s his views on Israel, which accounts in large measure for his Stormfront support.

    I’m sorry, but he’s just way too tolerant towards Muslims, and his inference that our problems with them is the result of “blowback” is enough to more than negate his more positive stands. It’s a shame really, because he has obviously had a positive impact in a great many ways. He still wouldn’t be the kind of person I would want for a standard bearer if for no other reason than his advanced age. Its hard to see somebody like him pulling off two terms. But even if I could get past that, and the fact that he’s not the presidential candidate in speech and appearance I would want, this other stuff just destroys him.

    And I for one am not approaching this from the perspective of affinity with Israel due to the Bible or religion. I just realize their importance to us as allies, arguably the only real one we have. Certainly the most important one. At the very least they don’t go around criticizing our own internal policies such as death penalty and 2nd Amendment issues, among many others. If all of our “allies” were like them I might not despise almost all of them to the extent I do.

    If all of Europe were overrun by Muslims tomorrow and thrown under shariah law, frankly I wouldn’t give a big rats ass. They would have brought it on themselves, and as far as I’m concerned our nukes are just as capable of striking London as they are Beijing. Israel is one of the few sane nations in the world, and for Paul to dismiss their importance with a casual “well I want us to be friends with all nations” is nothing short of outrageous.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I was hoping he’d do just good enough to drain a substantial number of votes from Romney, which as far as I’m concerned was the best thing about Pawlenty. Maybe Rudy will get in there and fill the bill. I just have this sinking feeling in my gut that Romney is going to glide in there just like McCain did the last time, just on account of too many conservatives draining votes from each other. On the other hand, the closest we had to a conservative who had any measurable support in the last cycle was Huckabee.

  • Anamika

    Here is the thing, all US politicians are in the
    payroll of the multinational corporations. The Republicans are
    the good employees that obey (almost) 100%. The Democrats are the not so good employees that dare disobey 10% of the
    time to act on behalf of the public.

    It is true that all US politicians are paid by corporations in general although some doubt might be justified regarding Ron Paul, Kuchinich and Nader and perhaps a few others. And regarding unconditional loyalty to AIPAC, without it a politician is ineligible.

  • Anamika

    As disappointing as Obama may be, the alternative in 2008 was simply unthinkable for a lot of mainstream folks. Anyone who believes people like Dr. Paul and Mr. Nader are any less flawed than Obama simply hasn’t done the requisite homework — Dr. Paul is a rather radical libertarian and Nader has become a self-absorbed narcissist in his old age. Obama was by far the least of the available evils, and in the U.S. system you have to “play defense” or you will wind up with a George Dumber’nyuh Butch….or worse.

  • Anamika

    Obama’ll get a second term in a walk, Pagan — the only ones disappointed in him are the ones who didn’t study his career, and when the GOP trots out its candidate they’ll turn out to prevent another Dumber’nyuh-style debacle. Obama is a skilled pragmatist and his opposition amounts to bad vaudeville — he’s may be just another conventional politician, but at least he’s not an outright moron like Huckabee, Romney, Pawlenty, Jindal, or (God forbid!) Palin.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Anamika drops her mask and what do we see? A Hitler stash. Yep, its all the fault of dem Jooooos.

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