Rick Santorum Will Have His Revenge on Sioux City

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 11 2011 9:11 AM

Rick Santorum Will Have His Revenge on Sioux City

Jonathan Martin hits the trail with Rick Santorum and encounters some of the high-quality bitterness that's making his run for president so worthwhile.

Santorum bashed the media at length in Sioux City — "they bully you," he said — but in retelling the story behind his controversial comparison of homosexuality to bestiality, the former senator nearly veered into martyrdom. 

He carped about how some of his fellow senators called on him to resign and the lack of support he got from President George W. Bush. 

"They remained silent for three days as the media firestorm erupted," Santorum said of the White House. 

Bob Sievers, a Sioux City retiree at the dinner, said of Santorum's lament: "It seemed to be almost bitterness to me."

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Seriously, how convincing is this pitch to conservative voters? "You might remember me: I was flogged to pieces by the liberal media for stuff I said. I am going to keep saying it." There's no compelling story, like Newt Gingrich's sacrifice to pay for his hubris or Sarah Palin's departure from the governor's office to save Alaska the cost of his lawsuits. There's just Santorum getting beaten by Bob Casey; oh, and the media's treatment of him played a role.

Elsewhere in Santorumiana: Brad Plumer goes back and reads the former senator's post-Senate political analysis.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.