Rick We Hardly Knew Ya
How could the catholic manage to blow a double digit lead in Michigan and manage not only to lose the state, let alone the catholic vote? There is a lesson in this for all who care to learn one about message discipline.
Rick Santorum had a chance. Fresh off victories in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado he surged into the lead nationally, and in Romney’s home state of Michigan, a state with a fair share of socially conservative voters, blue collar workers and Reagan Democrats, Santorum’s natural demographic.
Rick Santorum also had something else neither Romney or Obama can ever match—a story of working class upbringing, a grandfather who worked the coal mines, a connection to the forgotten white middle class and a populist message uniquely appealing to blue collar workers.
During the last week of the campaign in Michigan, Rick for some reason shed the script that was his path to victory and instead put a gun to his mouth.
That speech by the catholic President who broke a religious barrier and later died of an assassin’s bullet in Dallas? Rick said JFK made him want to throw up. This author and conservative Republican remembers JFK fondly. Let the dead lie in peace. No one under 60 had any idea what Santorum was talking about, but what everybody heard is that JFK made Rick want to puke. Why insult a Catholic President many Catholics still revere? And have we forgotten that JFK was more Republican than Democrat and that his words are often quoted by Republicans who use them to advance their cause?
Of that middle class dream of sending kids to college? Only snobs want to go to college? Sorry Rick. Have we forgotten the GI Bill that financed the college education of WW II veterans, enabling their climb up the economic rungs of the middle class ladder? My dad wanted me to go to college. He is not a snob. And don’t you have a couple of advanced degrees yourself?
And thanks for your thoughts on birth control. But a word about that. Many pro-life Catholics use birth control. Before there were pills there was the rhythm method, although it doesn’t work as well as the pills. Really, this issue is the purview of the Pope, not the President. You left a lot of people confused about the office you are seeking.
I liked it when you were on message, for you moved me with your story and your obvious empathy with blue collar America and compassion for the middle class that globalization left behind. I wished you’d stayed on message.
Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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