The Corner

About Tuesday Night . . .

My take on the Iowa caucuses in today’s New York Post:

Forget Mitt Romney’s whisper-close eight-vote margin of victory over Rick Santorum in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses. The real tally stands at Romney, 25 percent, not-Romney, 75 percent.

That’s not good news for Mitt — or for President Obama.

With Michele Bachmann dropping out of the race yesterday — and with other candidates likely to follow after next week’s New Hampshire primary — the chances of a credible alternative to Romney the “inevitable” suddenly look very good indeed.

For there’s no way the Romney camp can put lipstick on this pig. 

And before the sneering secular media starts explaining why an out-of-the-mainstream, homophobic, religious nutball like Santorum — even if he somehow wrests the nomination from Mr. Inevitable — can’t possibly beat President Obama:

That’s why Santorum’s rise is not good news for Obama, either. The Democrats have been prepping for Romney — the poster boy for Wall Street “greed” — for months. But Santorum hits them where they’re weakest: on life, on guns, on religion. He has a natural appeal to legions of Reagan Democrats — the “bitter clinger” white working-class types whose votes are up for grabs, now that Democrats (pursuing a rich liberals-poor minorities strategy) can offer only a show of Wall Street-bashing.

Santorum’s western Pennsylvania upbringing, just across the border from Ohio, gives him a natural opening to Midwesterners — and it is in midwestern swing states such as Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin that the fall election will be won or lost.

Santorum could go after Obama right on Obama’s home turf, and is likely to have a far broader and deeper appeal to ordinary folks than the arugula-eating faculty lounger from Hyde Park.

Hey, it could happen.

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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