The Most Boring Man in the World is introducing Rick Santorum right now. "Today the Show Me State" announced that they're looking for a candidate "with genuine conservative convictions, and Rick Santorum is that candidate," he says. "I was an early, ardent disciple of Ronald Reagan's," Captain Dull continues. The audio on CNN's livestream just cut out. I'm going to pretend that Captain Dull just said "...and the candidate who best embodies Ronald Reagan is Rick Santorum."
Must've been something like that, because now Rick Santorum is taking the stage to some phony 2001-style orchestral music, mixed with a knockoff of the Superman movie theme. I'm switching to MSNBC's livestream; they're usually better anyway. The crowd is losing their shit. "Wow! Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri AND Minnesota!" Rick Santorum says. "We doubled 'em up here and in Minnesota," he says. He's wearing a blueish suit and a shiny red tie. He's thanking his wife for being "a rock." Um, in bed? He's making a shout-out to his sick daughter. He says the people were heard "particularly loud" in Massachusetts tonight. He says if Obama's listening, "you'd better start listening to the voice of the people. But then again, I would be surprised if he wasn't listening." This is because Obama thinks he's "better" and "smarter" than everyone that he "rules over," that he "and his friends on Wall Street" knew what was better for America. "He thinks he knows better how to run your lives and manage your health care...he thinks he knows better" on health care, too. "We need a president who listens to the people," Santorum says, rather than pushing "a radical agenda."
Santorum says he's "hopeful" the voters in Colorado will go his way. "Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama." "I don't stand here claiming to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney...I claim to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama." Santorum says Missouri and Minnesota are "more accurate respresentations" of what the general election is going to be like in the fall. We need someone "who can say 'Barack Obama needs to be replaced in the Oval Office.'" Um, like Romney can't do that? Santorum says his plan is "supply-side economics for the working man." "We're talking about growth for everybody, right? I do care about, not 99% or 95%. I care about the very rich and the very poor. I care about 100% of America." Wow. Except for the gays and the ladies and the non-Christians. Santorum calls this "the most important election of your lifetime," because aren't they all?
"Americans understand that there is a great deal at stake...the president does not believe that." Obama believes "the government can give you rights...they can give you the right to health care. Look what happens when the government gives you rights, unlike when God gives you rights. The government can take them away. Santorum says he never believed we'd have a president "who would roll over" religious freedom to impose "secular values." He continues, "We need to be the voice for freedom."
"Your charge tonight, here in Missouri, because we're not done with you yet in Missouri," he says, "is to go out and pledge, no not your lives, maybe your fortune—ricksantorum.com is the website [for donations]—but your honor...your honor is at stake," as well as "the greatest country in the history of the world." And that's it. This was Santorum's regular old stump speech, but he delivered it really well. This was no Iowa caucus-night speech—that was still the best speech he's ever given—but it sure did sound like a meaningful case for Republican voters who don't want to pick Mitt Romney. When Santorum speaks, unlike Gingrich or Romney, I could see the power of his speech alone being enough to carry him to the nomination. That's kind of scary.