Monday, Jan. 09, 2012

Rick Santorum's Sweater Vests

The word surge has been used to describe the momentum that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has gained in the race to become the GOP's nominee to take on President Obama. But could another S word — sweater — be the real reason that he's somewhat surprisingly in the running this election year? Santorum's penchant for wearing sweater vests has become a sleeveless sartorial slingshot thanks to the power of the Internet. To wit: the @FearRicksVest Twitter handle, Facebook page, Tumblr blog and YouTube video. While the campaign has been spearheaded by anonymous supporters, Santorum has been happy to address the matter, telling the New York Times that the phenomenon began in Iowa (which seems apt, seeing as he missed out on winning the caucuses there by only eight votes), when he rocked the sweater-vest look at an event hosted by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. By opting against wearing the traditional political uniform of a dark suit, Santorum was certainly noticed. The question is whether that passion for vests can be turned into votes.