FISTICUFFS

01.02.12

Perry v. Politico, Santorum v. O'Reilly

Last-minute dustups before the caucuses

Scenes from the final hours of the Iowa frenzy:

One of the problems with writing a premature obituary for a presidential candidate is that he’s still around to push back. Politico practically played taps for Rick Perry in an extensively reported piece on the clashes between his Texas coterie and national strategists, with one “senior” adviser quotedas saying there "has never been a more ineptly orchestrated, just unbelievably subpar campaign for president of the United States than this one."

On MSNBC, when Perry said he didn’t know who the site was talking to, Politico’s Mike Allen responded that the sources “are members of your staff.”

"You got a name? You got a name? You got a name?" Perry asked. "If you don't have a name to tell me this individual said this, then I don't take that as a corroborating source."

Actually, corroborating sources are often unnamed. But the governor has a point that the harshest criticism in the piece came from those who hid behind the curtain of anonymity.

Rick Santorum, who had trouble buying a headline all year, is taking a swipe at the “media elite” (which is finally following him around).

The Daily Caller reports that Santorum has extended his indictment to Fox News: “Bill O’Reilly has refused to put me on his program. As far as he was concerned, I wasn’t a worthy enough candidate to earn a spot, sit across from him and be on his program.”

Life is indeed tough when you’re an also-ran.(O'Reilly responded Monday night that he had in fact avoided Santorum because he'd been "polling in the single digits," but invited him to appear Wednesday.)

“Here you have folks supposedly in the conservative media who are saying, ‘You know — well, we’re going to choose who we think is going to win,’” Santorum said. “And then complain that the mainstream media does the same thing.”

Well, he’s right about that (though you rarely hear winning candidates carp about their coverage). Fortunately for all of us, the voters get the final say.

No, it wasn’t a New Year’s Eve prank. Rupert Murdoch is on Twitter.

And promptly tweeted some nice words about Santorum’s recent success in Iowa. Does that mean he’ll be getting more facetime on Fox?

But Murdoch also learned the danger of hitting the send button too quickly. As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, he sent this tweet: “Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!” And later deleted it. Too late, Rupe.

Romney campaign reporters refused to stay at the Comfort Suites and, well, staged a mutiny to get a better hotel. Wait, does that make them part of the dreaded 1 percent?