Last year, Rick Santorum appeared at the South Carolina March for Life, and everyone seemingly ignored him until Iowa's caucus led to what Mike Joy calls a "Where did he come from" moment, where the caucus came down to a resounding photofinish.
This year, Mr. Santorum has a press conference with Abby Johnson (the 2012 keynote at our March for Life Saturday) scheduled, according to her note. Next Wednesday, Mr. Santorum has an appearance smack in the middle of the hometown, reminding me that in 2000 what happened when a candidate came to speak at the Fairgrounds.
Meanwhile, Rick Perry is scheduled for a Thursday luncheon at a barbecue restaurant, which will likely be the type of venues that we'll see the remaining candidates for this battle (Romney, Paul, Huntsman, Santorum, Perry, Gingrich) find themselves in the ten day war that ends next Saturday. Of course, in the Palmetto State, it has to be one of the three forms of "Palmetto 'Cue," which is considerably different than barbeque from any other part of the country. There won't be Kansas City, Memphis, or Texas style, and tomatoes are not the primary source of the sauce. This showdown will involve copious amounts of Midlands' German mustard-based sauces, the Lowcountry Scottish vinegar and pepper, and the variant in the Upstate and Savannah River, tomato with Scottish vinegar and pepper (similar to the North Carolina Piedmont). As a long-time Midlands resident, I am biased towards the mustard, although in some parts here, the mustard is mixed with a little tomato, the golden mustard is still the evident colour.
Start the barbecue pits, roast the hogs, and cue the candidates! Perry hopes to start his charge, Huntsman is showing life after New Hampshire, Gingrich is on the recovery attempt, Santorum is gaining ground, and Romney is the leader. The next ten days of barbecue, meetings, marches, and rallies will create one exciting showdown that ends next Saturday and will end at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. ◙