Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Iowa surprise! (UPDATE)

"Game on!"  Regardless of whether Rick Santorum comes in first or second to Romney, the conservative candidate has indeed given everyone something to talk about tonight!  Coming from the virtually bench in the polls to challenge the establishment's candidate, Santorum presents a refreshing call for something that's been downplayed by those in the party who fear Obama, particularly by aligning a stark contrasting conservative against him.  And that's a fearlessness to discuss and confront the so-called social issues head-on. From abortion to religion, God, family and the sanctity of life are integral convictions of Santorum's campaign.  And it doesn't hurt that his economic plan to reinvigorate the country is just as bold, or that his foreign policy is one that's ready to embrace our allies, such as Israel, as well as face down our certain enemies in the Iranian regime.  His passion for this nation shined in his 'thank you' speech to Iowa tonight.  Check out the best speech of the night in its entirety...

“You have taken the first step of taking back this country."

"The essential issue in this race is Freedom. Whether we will be a country that believes that government can do things for us better than we can do for ourselves, or whether we believe, as our founders did, that rights come to us from God, and when he gave us those rights, he gave us the freedom to go out and live those rights out to build a great and just society, not from the top down but from the bottom up.”

Ron Paul came in third, with Newt Gengrich in fourth place.  Other headlines sure to catch abuzz and broaden tomorrow: Bachmann not dropping out, Perry returning to Texas to 'reassess' campaign, and McCain to endorse Romney tomorrow (and some were calling Rupert Murdoch's endorsement of Santorum a kiss of death, really?!).

That's it from Iowa! Next stop, New Hampshire...

ADDENDUM: Here's a couple of notables...Jeffrey Lord's piece "The Passion of Rick Santorum" is energizing, and Daniel Horowitz of RedState makes an astute point concerning the media and Romney:

The Media will invariably focus on which conservative candidates should drop out. They will also focus on the fact that there is nobody who has a definitive roadmap to defeat Romney. But the larger point they will overlook is how much the Republican electorate dislikes Romney. He spent million of dollars in 2008 and got crushed by Huckabee. He spent millions of dollars this year, yet he failed to improve on his 2008 showing (Santorum spent just $30,000 on ads). The punchline is that 75% of GOP voters are willing to vote for anyone anyone against Romney.

And as W. James Antle, III succintly says, "Santorum has an opportunity to do the unthinkable as the anti-Romney. Republicans have been telling us for months that they don't want to nominate Mitt Romney. Now we are about to learn how much they really mean it."

Indeed.  Now back to Santorum's All-American Miracle, from Robert Stacy McCain:

What Rick Santorum accomplished here Tuesday will be remembered as one of the most miraculous comebacks in American political history. Only two weeks ago, the former Pennsylvania senator was regarded as a "second-tier" candidate, so far down in the polls that none of his rivals for the Republican nomination viewed him as a serious contender. And in his moment of triumph, he did not hesitate to pay tribute to the faith that sustained him during his long and often discouraging campaign.

"God has given us this great country to allow his people to be free," Santorum told a jam-packed crowd. "I offer a public thanks to God."


UPDATE: Via HotAir, Ed Morrissey asks, "What does a narrow second-place finish get you in national polling? A solid bounce to second place, if you’re Rick Santorum. The latest Rasmussen national poll puts Santorum firmly into the top tier."

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