"Unfortunately for [the MSM], Stacy McCain and I were there," writes Peter Ingemi of DaTechGuyblog, on the scene at a Rick Santorum Town Hall in Concord, NH yesterday in the run-up to Tuesday's primary. "I shot the entire exchange, and when you watch it, two things are clear: 1. Santorum is on the offensive, NOT the defensive. 2. The students are unable to cope with his arguments." (Jim Cole/AP)
"Is this any way to pick a president?" asks Charles Krauthammer rhetorically, answering his own question with a resounding "Yes!":
We were thrilled to see the venerable Dr. K. had come to the same conclusion we had, as argued in yesterday's somewhat controversial (among our twitter friends) post, "Amazing Grace: Is Rick Santorum the new Sarah Palin?" The very adjectives we and Charles — May we call you Charles? — chose to describe the man of the hour are eerily similar:
Krauthammer: From the rubble emerges Rick Santorum. But he isn’t just the last man standing. He is the first challenger to be plausibly presidential: knowledgeable, articulate, experienced, of stable character and authentic ideology.
Willis: Now a larger audience is getting a taste of this authentic, thoughtful, knowledgeable, deliberative, experienced, articulate, principled, humorous and good-hearted man, very much a formidable opponent in any debate with the current Leader of the Free World. And this "flavor of the week" appears to be sticking to the ribs.
"But because he was such a long shot, his record did not receive much scrutiny," notes Krauthammer:
It will now. He is no austere limited-government constitutionalist. He participated in George W. Bush’s compassionate conservatism, which largely made peace with big government. Santorum, for example, defends earmarks and supported No Child Left Behind and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. It’s a perfectly defensible philosophy — but now he’ll be called upon to actually defend it. (See Rush's defense, "Mantra: Santorum is a 'Big Government Conservative.'")
Enter, stage left, "The Meat Grinder." Brent Bozell:
Santorum, like the other authentic conservatives, are too “far right” to win. Ann Curry started the meat grinder. “So is he going to have to change his conservative message as he's looking into north, looking into New Hampshire, which is a much less conservative state?”
Fortunately, the media isn't going to get away with it this time:
1. Intrepid bloggers and reporters like our gumshoe buddies Pete Ingemi of DaTechGuyblog and Stacy McCain of The Other McCain and The American Spectator are on the ground in New Hampshire holding the lamestream media's feet to the fire (See picture caption above).
2. Santorum's not a man to change his message to suit his audience. As Stacy writes: "Santorum is unapologetically the same staunch conservative in the Granite State that he was in Iowa and — judging from the applause during the town hall forum sponsored by the Southern New Hampshire 9-12 Project — God is still more popular here than some Republicans may suspect."
It's the authenticity, stupid!
Will Sissy Willis do it again? Having pushed Scott Brown across the finish line in the Massachusetts race for "the Kennedy seat" can she pull off a repeat for Rick Santorum?
Sissy, you might just make a believer out of me.
Crossposted at Riehl World View.