Adlai, Eleanor & Rick: Perfect Together
While on vacation, I missed the debut ot Rick Santorum's summer TV ads, but caught up with them when I got back. I call these the Marzipan Rick ads -- designed to soften the incumbent's hard image among voters and lower those negatives a bit. Have you ever eaten marzipan? It's the super-sweet confection made out of almond paste. An acquired taste, just like Santorum.
The ad that struck me was the one the Santorum campaign labeled "The Daily Bugle." It features Santorum, wearing an electric blue shirt and sitting at a desk cluttered with newspapers. Here's the lead-in to the ad:
Santorum: "I just love reading the newspapers. This one calls me too conversative. They probably didn't like my efforts to reform welfare. And this paper, they say: 'The real problem with Rick Santorum is that he’s too liberal. They didnt like my legislation to increase the minimum wage..." If you have the right media player, you can also see the ad here.
In all my years, I have never ever heard Santorum called liberal, let alone "too liberal."
I asked the Santorum campaign for the source of the quote. They replied that it was the Dick Scaife-owned Pittsburgh (nee Greensburg) Tribune-Review.
The Santorum campaign sent me this excerpt from a May 15, 2005 Tribune column by Colin McNickle: “And then there's his collaboration with Democrats. Not just any Democrats but Teddy Kennedy and Chuck Schumer. There's a proposal to raise the minimum wage. There's another plan to throw $500 or $1,000 cash at every kid born in the United States after Dec. 31, 2006. Even if there's an eventual "offset" down the road on the latter proposal, it's still taxpayer money and we're still talking about the creation of yet another government entitlement. Santorum, "too extreme"? Pshaw! Try too liberal, at least on matters economic. That's the real Santorum story being missed by the out-of-towners.”
For the record, McNickle -- whom no one would accuse of being a liberal -- is no fan of Santorum's, whom he considers an "unprincipled pandering opportunist," who went into the job as a pure-of-heart conservative, but lost his way to the blandishments of power and politics inside the Beltway.
Other than McNickle does anyone out there think that Santorum is a liberal? And, if so, what would that make Bob Casey Jr. or Arlen Specter? I know one thing, it would make Teddy Kennedy a Maoist.