Posted Friday, April 15, 2011, at 1:31 PM
The Union Leader writes up an appearance by Rick Santorum, now a sorta-fledged candidate for president.
Santorum by and large stayed on message but was tripped up a bit when a student asked him if he knew that the choice of his slogan, "Fighting to make America America again," was borrowed from the "pro-union poem by the gay poet Langston Hughes."
"No I had nothing to do with that," Santorum said. "I didn't know that. And the folks who worked on that slogan for me didn't inform me that it came from that, if it in fact came from that."
The student, whose name was not immediately available, was referring to the poem "Let America Be America Again." When asked a short time later what the campaign slogan meant to him, Santorum said, "well, I'm not too sure that's my campaign slogan, I think it's on a web site."
It was also printed on the campaign literature handed out before the speech.
The "student" was Lee Fang of ThinkProgress, according to the Center for Progress Action Fund, which runs the site. He was in New Hampshire, as other ThinkProgress reporters have been in Iowa, with the project that Ben Smith and Ken Vogel wrote about last week. As they did in 2009 during the health care town halls and in 2010 during the midterms, ThinkProgress reporters are toting video cameras to conservative events and asking uncomfortable, newsy questions of Republican candidates and strategists. That video of Herman Cain promising never to appoint a Muslim? That was ThinkProgress . Fang's not a student (the reporter's omission, I suspect, because TP reporters do say where they're from when asked), but an experienced video tracker.
If you attend enough conservative events, you see TP in action. The reporters are quite good at framing newsy questions in non-confrontational ways; rarely does a Republican or conservative flee when a polite reporter points the dead eye of a FlipCam in his face, and interrupts a line of softballs from supporters or strategy questions from reporters with some ideology or policy stuff. CNSNews does a good job of this on the right. It was one of their reporters
Nancy Pelosi "where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" Her non-answer has become legend among conservatives.