Trying to rebrand himself as the second coming of Alphonse D’Amato, yesterday’s Santorum piece in the NYT chronicles Ricky’s late (and lame) attempt to distinguish himself for his constituent service.
No wonder. The ideological extremist is getting hammered for being out-of-touch with the folks back home. In particular, he’s getting hit for living with his family in Virginia while nominally retaining a house in the burbs of Pittsburgh. (Ironically, Santorum lambasted his congressional opponent in 1990 for exactly the same thing.) In light of his reputation as a fundie attack dog and Bush rubber stamp, RS is also taking it for being a Washington insider, and an “establishment tool.”
The photo accompanying the write-up is glaring, ugly and … editorially brilliant, a blunt retort to the Santorum spin. That dingy column separating RS and the audience might as well put Santorum miles away. From what I can make out, the audience — in a firehouse in the town of Monroeville — doesn’t look that responsive, either. And finally, what’s with outfit? Compared to the people in the front row, at least, the guy seems underdressed. And those white pants? Perhaps more of the Washington/Virginia preppy feel?
Finally, if Santorum is so keen to project his local engagement, how come the first photo gallery feature on his campaign website showcases Washington senators; the most recent civic-minded pictures — offering ad nauseam documentation of an Allegheny County Super Bowl party — are more than five months old; and the “Around the Commonwealth” section is dead last?
(image: Jeff Swensen for The New York Times. Monroeville, Pennsylvania. July 6, 2006. nyt.com)