Santorum the Unpolitician

by Quin Hillyer

It strikes me that Rick Santorum is about the most determinedly anti-political top-level politician I’ve ever witnessed. No matter what state he is debating in, he refuses to find some wiggle room on issues where his position is at odds with a deeply held local position. For instance, tonight he has made zero attempt to provide any sops at all to the majority of Floridians who opposed drilling in the eastern Gulf — not even any verbal nods to the idea that of course it is important to keep beaches clean, etcetera. There have been a couple of other examples tonight of a somewhat parallel nature — times where a normal politician would have found an easy way to localize an answer, but Santorum just gave it straight without localization — just as there were in Iowa and South Carolina. (In South Carolina, for instance, he had a chance in one debate to jump to the defense of that states voter ID law against the Justice Department and, even though he clearly agrees with South Carolina, he just let the opportunity pass. I don’t know what to make of it.


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