Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows, Dems Cozy Up to Santorum

Joe DiSano is a Democratic strategist from Michigan who is urging Democrats to vote for Rick Santorum. On Monday, he announced that he had a list of 12,000 names ready for robocalls and mass emails on Monday and Tuesday. The 30-second robocall is featured here.

“Democrats can help embarrass Mitt Romney and expose him as the weak front-runner that he is by supporting Rick Santorum on Tuesday,” DiSano said in the robo-call, revealing its intent. Fittingly, the robocall encouraged Michiganders not to waste their vote on Ron Paul, the candidate whose electability has rested on his appeal to Democrats and Independents.

DiSano's hope is that Michigan, with its open primary, might see an uptick in the numbers of Democrats and Independent churning out. He counts between 8,000 to 9,000 Democrats ready to vote for Santorum in what is turning out to be a very close primary.  He hopes his fellow Democrats in the Great Lakes State have a hankering for mischief and has considered voting Santorum to dim Romney's election hopes in what some are calling "Operation Hilarity."

There's just one problem with this Operation Hilarity. The joke might be lost on those seeking their fun. After all, Santorum's more than happy to have Democrats cross the party lines to cast a ballot for him as a recent robocall from the Santorum campaign makes clear.

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It might end the myth that Rick Santorum can't attract Democrats. Santorum's conservatism wasn't a problem in his Pennsylvania congressional and senatorial races. So why do Democrats think it'll be a problem now?

If anything, the decision by Democrats to vote for Santorum actually hurts Mitt Romney, who has staked his candidacy on his ability to appeal to Democrats. For another thing, it reinforces a narrative that Santorum has already crafted--that he'll get blue collar, Reagan Democrats in a match up against Barack Obama. For still another, there's little evidence that Mitt Romney is the better candidate against Obama. Wouldn't he have already dispatched Rick Santorum if he were?

In any event, it's doubtful that Operation Hilary will draw blood anyways, if only because Democrats already have a candidate running for the Republican nomination: Ron Paul.

Or as DiSano puts it:  “There are a lot of people out there with the wrong idea that Ron Paul is the correct candidate to support on Tuesday, but I don’t think Ron Paul’s going to walk out of Michigan with one delegate,” he told Real Clear Politics. He warned that a vote for Ron Paul is a "wasted" vote, but for many Democrats a vote for Ron Paul isn't a wasted vote, at all. It's the next best thing to Barack Obama.


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