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'98 Misstep May Have Cleared Pollster's Dance Card

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Santorum's speech, which lasted about 15 minutes, served as a prelude to his book-signing event in CPAC's exhibit hall. Hundreds lined up to get a Santorum signature on his book -- "It Takes a Family."

The book, as well as the vast majority of Santorum's CPAC speech, was a repudiation of the boogeyman (er, -woman) of conservatives: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Santorum described his book as a "bottom up" approach to building a society, dismissing the "top down" theory of those who believe "it takes a village." The subtle -- ahem -- reference to Clinton's book of the same name evoked derisive snorts of laughter from the crowd.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Phil Singer had a retort at the ready. "Considering that Rick Santorum's book argues that it's wrong to help single moms earn college degrees, calls the goal of diversity an error, and advocates the privatization of Social Security, it's difficult to see how anyone can take what he says seriously," Singer said.

The Pennsylvania Republican made no mention of his 2006 reelection race in which he trails state Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr. (D) by a double-digit margin.

Bush, Rove Still Draw Cash

Although President Bush and his political Svengali, Karl Rove, aren't the two most popular figures in the country, they can still be counted on to draw a crowd -- and raise cash.

Bush is scheduled to do a fundraising event for Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) on Feb. 23 in Mishawaka. The president did only one fundraiser for a House candidate last year, in traveling to Colorado in late November to raise campaign cash for Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R).

Rove was considerably more active on the GOP fundraising circuit last year, making stops for Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Reps. Jim Gerlach (Pa.) and Michael E. Sodrel (Ind.), as well as Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.).

He'll be back at it Feb. 24 in South Carolina at an event for state Rep. Ralph Norman (R), who is running against longtime Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. (D) in the GOP-leaning 5th district.


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