The Santorum campaign woke up in a ditch this morning.
Their intrepid driver, Rick, was reportedly suffering from something a senior advisor called “campaign fatigue.” But there were other reports that a distracted Santorum had his head down and was fiddling with something on his knee while driving.
His patchwork campaign, which already bears a striking resemblance to a neighborhood yard sale, gave the word “disarray” new meaning with this latest mishap.
You realize, of course, that I am referring to (and pardon me for paraphrasing) his ill-advised but very revealing statement yesterday that he can see no difference between a Romney presidency and the continuation of Obama’s relentless war on liberty.
But it must be that he’s just worn out. You know, there’s a reason why there are federal regulations limiting the length of time that a professional bus or truck driver can drive at a stretch. Campaigns can go on too long as well. Fatigue is a killer.
In this case, Rick’s fatigued statement has blown a giant hole in the thin veneer of conservatism and Republican Party loyalty that he has been trying to craft from the passenger seat of Chuck’s pickup truck since last year. By the way, where is chauffeur Chuck-in-the-Truck when you need him?
But although he would dearly love to take it back, Rick said it, and he meant it. What an amazing display of unvarnished self-interest and personal ambition. What happened to cause and country, Rick? When did you lose sight of the fundamental objective, a Republican win in the general election? How you could let yourself fall into the rookie mistake of believing your own publicity?
Sadly, I think we’ve seen the real Rick Santorum this time, and he is neither as publicly-minded, nor as purely conservative, nor as ready to govern as we might have hoped.
In fact, it’s starting to look like the only reason today’s road-weary Republican voters haven’t already run Rick off the road themselves is that, by contrast to his chief rival for that increasingly-distant second place, Rick’s narcissistic tantrum is a barely-audible whimper compared to the screeching whine of self- aggrandizement and vengefulness being displayed by a progressively less-relevant Newt Gingrich.
Their unguarded rhetoric has revealed that both are in this for themselves first. That leaves the rest of us and the good of the country as distant a second place on their agendas as they themselves are in the polls.
Rick will likely have his last hurrah in Louisiana tomorrow. Let it be a farewell party, so that Mitt Romney and the Republican Party can move on to the real business of taking on Obama, and retaking America from the freedom-crushing machinery of the liberal wrecking yard.
It’s over, and everyone knows it but Rick. By its leader’s own desperate and reckless act, the Santorum campaign has been totaled this time. As an aside, a somewhat dazed campaign spokesman dragged himself from the wreckage last night to refute media reports that Santorum’s little accident was the result of rhetorical texting while driving.
I sort of believe him, but only because I have it on good authority that the device he was fooling with on his knee at the time of the fateful crash was not his Blackberry, but an Etch-a-Sketch.
With anti-Obama voters poised to revoke his driver’s license, I suspect that Rick will have lots of time to hone his Etch-a-Sketching skills in the months to come.
Maybe he’ll take a driving lesson too.