The Internet and Rick Santorum

I had planned to write a post of my favorite Santorum headlines but Gawker beat me to it. They also found this passage from an AP article about the Caucus.

“The best thing about the Santorum surge is that, even in Romney’s best case scenario, he must still confront a “Romney Pushes Out Santorum” headline. Poor Mitt. If he wants Santorum out, he’ll have to loosen up.” [AP]

Santorum’s Google problem has a special place in online/political history (and my heart). With the help of columnist Dan Savage and a good old fashioned Google Bomb the Internet has made it’s feelings about Rick Santorum known. What’s remarkable is that a 9 year old online campaign haunts Santorum every time anyone Googles him, not what you want to come up in your search results if you’re running for President of the United States.

The media coverage of this phenomenon has been nearly as amusing as the political headlines. Several media outlets ran articles about it today. Mashable wrote an open letter outlining six steps to help Santorum repair the damage.

After years of being one of the Internet’s largest inside jokes, Santorum has gone mainstream.


Melissa Ryan is a political consultant. She’s spent a decade leading digital campaigns for nonprofits and political races, including EMILY’s List, Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, the New Organizing Institute, and Senator Russ Feingold’s campaign. Visit her website at melissaryan.net or follow her on Twitter @MelissaRyan.

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