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ArrowBig Baby Brown
Buffalo Mayor Tramples BEAST Publisher

ArrowThe Vilsack Buzz
As the nation looks to ‘08, excitement is high
Matt Taibbi

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2 dimensional fathers better parents, say experts

Rich Herschlag

ArrowDialing for Santorum
My last-ditch heroic effort to save the GOP’s holiest hatchet man
Matt Taibbi

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Dialing for Santorum
My last-ditch heroic effort to save the GOP’s holiest hatchet man
Matt Taibbi

Election Day, early afternoon, Pittsburgh. I'm in a noisy campaign office, a list of Republican names in front of me and a cell phone in my hand. All around me, well-groomed white people are rushing back and forth, yammering at one another. I'm one of the only people here with his own table; a late arrival, I was given a lonely spot near the door, in the shadow of the refrigerator.

I dial a number.

"Yes?" an older woman's voice answers.

"Hi," I say. "My name is Andy Whittier, and I'm a volunteer for the Republican Party! I'm calling to remind you that Senator Rick Santorum really needs your vote."

When I arrived in Pittsburgh the night before to cover the Senate race, my name was still Matt. But then, a little after midnight, I got a gloating call from Kristen Vanderpool, Santorum's press bitch, informing me that, gee, we're sorry, but we just don't have room to let you into the senator's Victory Party tomorrow night. We'd love to have you, of course, but we made up our guest list a long time ago, and unfortunately we just can't exceed the fire code. It's a safety issue, you understand. . . .

I lay awake in my hotel for almost an hour, admiring the insult. Then the next morning I got myself on the Victory Party list by using a fake name and volunteering for the Santorum campaign. The price was a day's work hitting the phones.

"What did you say your name was, young man?" the woman on the other end of the phone asks.

"Kevin," I say. "I mean, Andy."

She pauses. "Well, um, Andy," she says, "I'm just not sure I'm going to vote this year."

"Not vote?" I shriek. "Shame on you!"

"I know, I know," the woman says. "But they just kinda seem the same to me."

"The same?" I cry. "The same? Ma'am, are you aware that at twelve weeks, a human fetus can do rudimentary math problems?"

"Oh, my goodness," she says. "Is that true?"

"Yes, it is," I say.

"Who says?" she asks.

"Sweden," I say.

"Sweden?"

"Yes," I say. "The Swedes -- they did a study. But the liberal media, you know, they won't report it."

She pauses.

"What kind of study?" she asks finally.

"Ma'am, Senator Santorum really needs your support," I snap. "It's going to be a very close race. Every vote is going to count. Are you really going to sit this one out? People are dying, little babies…"

The old woman relents. "Well, I'll probably go later, I guess."

I sigh in relief, writing "plans to vote" on the sheet and started dialing again.

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