Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Santorum "being pulled along" in Prez run

Tom Beaumont has an updated, must-read on Rick Santorum's Iowa sojourn and, more importantly, his strategy in the state, which includes a lot of hours on the ground in key places (I linked to a smaller version of the report earlier).

But, first, Santorum:

“I sort of feel in some respects I’m being pulled along in this,” Santorum said in a Des Moines Register interview. “I’m still seriously going through this process. And at this point I’m very encouraged by everything that’s happening.”

And second, his legwork.

He has also enlisted the help of a small circle of Iowa advisers to help him make inroads, including Nick Ryan, a longtime senior aide to former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle.

And on Tuesday, Santorum met with about 80 Republicans in Gull Point State Park near Milford. Santorum and other Republicans eyeing the caucuses have made Iowa contacts while campaigning for candidates running this fall. But Tuesday’s event marked Santorum’s first in Iowa strictly aimed at putting him in touch with party activists.

Santorum also headlined four events for candidates across western and northwest Iowa on Monday and Tuesday, in key Republican hot spots such as Sioux Center and Spencer. He’s the first caucus prospect to dig that deeply into that GOP-heavy part of the state at this early stage in the campaign.

“It’s interesting that he’s spending that time there,” said Ann Trimble-Ray, vice chairwoman of the Sac County Republican Party. “That’s where a conservative wants to be.”

Btw, Santorum's not the only '12 prospect, who's flirted with the idea that forces outside ambition are fueling his desire.

Newt Gingrich has said he might run if he felt a "citizen's obligation", and Sarah Palin has also cast herself as a reluctant crusader.