Best. debate. ever.
Ohh, Baa-ma. My love will turn you on.
They held a boxing match last night and a debate broke out. Bobby Casey, the human equivalent of Ambien managed to avoid a bare-knuckle fist-fight with Rick Santorum.
I listened to this debate on the radio. Santorum came across as angry and desperate. Later, I watched it on television. Santorum was genuine, mildly insane, but clearly the victor.
Santorum's early smile quickly became a scowl, but he used this agitation to his advantage. If he was aggressive, he reminded viewers, it was only because he was passionate for Pennsylvania. During his closing statement, I thought Santorum might shed a tear, not because he fears losing, but because he believes in his heart of hearts that only he can fight for Pennsylvania.
This was vintage Santorum. The firebrand conservative reinspired that fealty from his followers, which has been missing since his endorsement of Arlen Specter over soulmate Pat Toomey in 2004 GOP primary. Santorum flashed a quick wit, and reputed with aplomb Casey's assaults.
Santorum routinely punctuated his answers with jabbing questions of Casey's meandering replies and at several points, openly mocked his opponent. When Santorum criticized Casey for merely repeating Democratic talking points, he went so far as to mimic Casey's droning speech pattern. "Moving forward...a new direction." It elicited a hearty chuckle from this analyst and I imagined, many independent voters.
Give credit to Casey, who appeared more bemused by Santorum's antics than offended. And while missed his opportunities to remind voters that Santorum is an ideological zealot out of step with most Pennsylvanians, he didn't look desperate.
Santorum's strength is in his aggressiveness. He reminded western Pennsylvanians of his local work. One of the benefits of incumbency is knowing intricate details of legislation. And he contrasted this with the dearth of factoids from Casey's treasurer tenure. This was, Santorum said, evidence that Casey was lazy and opportunistic. Finally, Santorum's camp has found something they could latch onto. Saying Casey is a liberal won't work. Bitching that Casey hasn't been forthright about his positions has failed. Painting Casey as lazy and disinterested?
That might make it a race.