Let’s look at the general sentiment coming from Republican voters and Fox News talking heads:
- Mitt Romney is part of the problem that Republicans hate when it comes to health care and other issues. His conservative credentials are weak.
- Newt Gingrich has skeletons in his closet that rival Herman Cain. As Ann Coulter points out, Gingrich would lose 49 out of 50 states to Obama.
- Ron Paul is insane.
- Michele Bachmann is insane on a different level.
- Rick Perry is dumber than George W. Bush.
- Everyone else is unimportant.
Rick Santorum fit into the last category until this week. Through sheer will (and the fact that every waking moment has been spent for weeks on winning Iowa), he has emerged as the #3 guy in Iowa and is rising fast. How did the man who was a distant 6th two weeks ago position himself so well?
The truth is, he didn’t. He’s simply the NR-NR (Not Romney, Not Ron) in the right place at the right time. He may also be the only conservative who can go up against Barack Obama. Why? Because he’s clean (as far as we know). He hasn’t waffled. He hasn’t cheated on his wife. He isn’t trying to legalize drugs. He doesn’t defer to his husband. He can remember 3 things in a list when trying to make a point.
Finally, he’s starting to be listened to by the media and the voters.