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Posted at 06:15 PM ET, 03/01/2012

Santorum emerges from the bottom spot in Google results


Possibly the best picture taken of anyone, ever. (BRIAN LOSNESS - REUTERS)
Rick Santorum’s long national nightmare is finally over — at least for now.

SpreadingSantorum.com, the site that made his last name into a cruel neologism, is no longer the first Google result for his name.

A few months ago, he was someone primarily known, on the Internet, for being synonymous with a rude substance. Now he’s the last remaining Not Mitt Romney Not On Life Support in the Republican field.

He no longer has to shout to be heard. That has not stopped him from shouting. He’s shouted about everything from “snobs” to phony theology to wanting to “throw up” at speeches by JFK. But he’s apologizing and moving along and maybe, just maybe, Super Tuesday will do for him what Michigan couldn’t. After all, it takes time to move from The Shouting Man On The Street Corner With An Ominous Sign to the Well-Coiffed Prophet Leading Folks Into The White House. Wilderness yellers don’t generally go mainstream.

But unlike most wilderness yellers, Santorum had been doing his shouting from the halls of power in Washington, legislating and building the occasional consensus, just to keep a hand in. He’s better equipped than most.

Still, some politicians attract attention by what they do, and others by what they say. Santorum, like Michele Bachmann, tended to fall into the latter category. It was what drew the mud to him in the first place. For him to go any farther, he’ll have to drop the shouting habit. And if it were easy for people in the public eye to stop saying colorful, excessive things, I would be out of a job.

Still, in a small way, things might be looking up.

Wonder of wonders, his name has emerged from the bottom of Google search results. Finally, a Web site that isn’t SpreadingSantorum.com, the site campaigning to make his name mud in response to comments he made against homosexuality, leads the pack.

No, finally, it’s Santorum’s own Web site —

Oh. Er. I see.

Well, it’s — actually, it’s still not Santorum’s own Web site. The top result seems to be a link to the new definition at UrbanDictionary.com. I’m so sorry. Please, do not Google yourself, Rick.

There’s still another bridge to cross. To get his real site up there, Santorum’s tried almost everything. But to make it stick, he will have to show us that he’s different now. He’s not the man making scurrilous comparisons in 2003. He’s on the national stage, where people are prepared to listen to him, where he doesn’t need to scream, where he can say calm things in a low voice and not shrill to attract attention.

Does he have any remarks that fit this category? If so, now’s the time.

In the meantime, hey, it’s not SpreadingSantorum.com any more. That’s a step.

By  |  06:15 PM ET, 03/01/2012

Tags:  Santorum

 
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