Jewish World Review March 7, 2012/ 13 Adar, 5772
Santorum Just Doesn't Get It
By Roger Simon
In the last few months, President Obama has gotten really lucky. The Republicans could not resist holding 20 debates to show the American people how brilliant they are, and a lot of Americans took a look and said, "That's all you got?"
As the debate season has inched along, the president's approval numbers have risen according to the latest Politico/GWU/Battleground poll completed in late February to 53 percent and the Real Clear Politics average of seven polls showing Obama at 48.6.
Yet Obama's poll numbers have more likely risen due to an improving economy rather than the Republican debates.
As the economy gets better, people feel better — and, as Abraham Lincoln put it, facing his own tough re-election in 1864: "I do not allow myself to suppose that (voters) have concluded to decide that I am either the greatest or the best man in America, but rather they have concluded it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river ..."
But events, like rivers, can move very swiftly. And what today is an improving economy, by fall could be a wretched one once again. And the Republican primary debate season is probably over.
Obama, however, has gotten incredibly lucky once again:
According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University,"Women, who constitute more than half the population, have cast between 4 and 7 million more votes than men in recent elections. In every presidential election since 1980, the proportion (of) female adults who voted has exceeded the proportion of made adults who voted."
So does this sound like a good time for Republicans to tick off women voters? It's not a "special interest group" that can easily be dismissed.
As former Democratic Party chief Howard Dean said recently, "There are just so many groups you can offend, and women are a pretty big one."
He was speaking of Rush Limbaugh's denunciation of Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who wants Georgetown, a Catholic university, to provide birth control through its student medical insurance plan.
On Wednesday, Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and said she "wants to be paid to have sex." On Thursday, he said she was "having so much sex, it's amazing she can still walk."
On Friday, President Obama called Fluke to support her, and a number of sponsors withdrew from Limbaugh's radio show.
Republican pundit Peggy Noonan said Limbaugh's remarks were "crude, rude and even piggish," but the real damage, she said, was that the remarks were "disruptive" and "took attention away from President Obama's attack on religious freedom."
Eventually, Limbaugh apologized to Fluke, saying: "My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."
All of this was part of what the Democrats are branding the "Republican War on Women" and hope in part to ride to victory on it, regardless of the state of the economy.
Some Republicans understand this and see the potential danger.
In Ohio on Saturday, Mitt Romney said weakly of Limbaugh's comments, "It's not the language I would have used."
Democrats jumped all over that, with top Obama campaign aide David Axelrod sneering: "Wow. Profiles in Courage."
But by Sunday, Romney's campaign had found a groove for him. "The economy is what I do. It's what I know; it's what I've done," Romney said.
Rick Santorum has made the most of what he calls Obama's attack on religion, and Santorum did not feel like roughing up Limbaugh too much.
"He's being absurd, but that's you know, an entertainer can be absurd," Santorum said. "He's in a very different business than I am."
So does this guy just not get politics or what?
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© 2009, Creators Syndicate