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Santorum Appealing To The "Conservative Commentariat"

Last week, Matt Lewis posted an interesting piece up at The Daily Caller wherein he described the many reasons that "conservative commentariat" will like Rick Santorum:
While the center-right media intelligentsia were more than happy to help destroy the “unserious” candidates such as Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich (and others), they generally like Santorum. There are likely many reasons for this.

One appealing attribute is that Santorum is somewhat of a wonkish intellectual type. This appeals to conservative pundits who fear the tea party set might nominate someone who would make them look like a rube to their cosmopolitan friends. As the Washington Post’s in-house Romney cheerleader, Jennifer Rubin, wrote, Santorum “is a well-educated man who cites (without pretense) everyone from John Adams to C.S. Lewis. He’s someone who thinks it important to know things — and know them in detail if you’re going to run for the presidency.”

And consider National Review’s infamous editorial, tearing down Gingrich (and Bachmann and Perry). That same piece praised Santorum as “an effective legislator” and included him among the candidates who “deserve serious consideration.”

Having served as a senator in Washington for more than a decade, it’s also true that many conservative commentators have likely met or worked with him over the years.

Lastly, there’s also the fact that Santorum is outspoken regarding his Catholic faith. Anecdotally speaking, Catholics seem well-represented among the conservative media elite (the most famous example having been Bill Buckley). One might surmise this helps Santorum connect. And, let’s be honest, say what you will about Santorum’s “big government” record, he was a tireless worker on behalf of cultural issues.

At a time when Catholics (arguably the swing vote in America) are coming under fire by the White House, Santorum’s intelligence, faith, and ability to communicate effectively seem to be especially appealing attributes. My guess is these factors have converged to make Santorum just as appealing to conservative intellectuals as he is to blue collar “rust belt” workers.
I can't disagree with Lewis on too much here.

However, I will say this: Santorum lost his 2006 U.S. Senate re-election bid by 17 points in Pennsylvania. Whether or not the conservative Chattering Class thinks he is politically attractive -- or even starts to like him -- is irrelevant when you look at that fact.