The sweater vest man has returned and right now he might want to wear a spiffy three-piece suit because he’s back in the center ring.
Rick Santorum’s three state sweep Tuesday night has nothing at all to do with collecting delegates. It has everything to do with grabbing the spotlight and showing America that he’s the guy to take on and beat Obama.
If we’ve learned anything from this crazy GOP primary race it’s that voters are looking to choose a candidate who can beat the president. Let’s not complicate it and get into all of the crosstab polling data. That’s it plain and simple. Who can beat Obama?
Santorum’s speech was a two-pronged hit. He was able to draw clear distinctions between him and Mitt Romney but he also pivoted to Obama and made the case why he’s the best candidate to beat him. Santorum may lack Mitt Romney’s money and vast organizational infrastructure but if his message (or Gingrich’s message) begins to truly resonate in the hearts and minds of voters, then Romney is in a world of trouble.
When I say message I don’t necessarily mean Santorum’s vision for America. Obviously that’s important but the message that really needs to stick with voters is one where GOP primary voters begin to think to themselves, “Hey, you know what? I think Santorum really can beat Obama.”
Santorum’s victories on Tuesday will be a seed in a plant that could begin to grow wildly.
The Brody File loves food analogies so let me put it this way: Mitt Romney is beginning to turn into Mr. Peanut Butter and Jelly. In other words, voters are looking for a nice cold cut sandwich with all the toppings but haven’t been able to find that person yet.
So what do you do when you can’t get a fantastic sandwich? You go in the cupboard and get the old standby: Peanut Butter and Jelly. Santorum (and Gingrich) are trying to be that amazing cold cut sandwich, and Tuesday evening Santorum added a few more toppings.