Welcome to You Still Here?, a new regular column on The Slot examining people you totally forgot were running for President.

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The interesting thing about failed presidential candidates is that they keep doing the stuff more successful candidates do—they just do it in front of far fewer people, the political equivalent of a tree falling alone in the woods. It would be kind of sad, if it weren’t also very funny.

Take Rick Santorum, polling at a solid 1 percent, and still doing all the Santorum-y things we’ve come to know if not necessarily love him for: Speaking at a forum (house party) for Catholic voters in Iowa, he warned that ISIS may strike there next, and also, that one of the biggest problems facing Americans at home is more women going to college.

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The Des Moines Register reports that Santorum campaign-stopped for those nice Iowan Catholics; he told them that Des Moines could be a terror target, lightly talked some trash about the Pope (“I’m not a believer in the climate crisis”) and then turned his attention to women’s issues. A 17-year-old girl in attendance named Lizzy Dowd asked Santorum his views on equal pay. Santorum responded in the character of a man who once inveighed against “radical feminists” and their piggish demands for “an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace.” From the Register:

Santorum responded that the fact is that more women are attending college than men and have higher graduation rates than men.

“If there is a huge problem in America today, it is that we are losing a generation of young men,” he said.

Women are attending college at greater rates than men, but are still likely to earn less when they graduate. The issue with men going to college might be due in part to racist school discipline systems that criminalize black and Latino male students, an issue we’re sure Rick Santorum cares deeply about. Or it might be that there are more jobs in traditionally “female” fields like nursing and teaching, but men don’t feel comfortable going into those fields, and so they take jobs that don’t require degrees, like manufacturing, even though those jobs can be lower-paying.

All ideas probably deeply considered by Rick Santorum, a guy who seems to believe that women going to college elbows out a place for men, and who wishes women would just stay home and like it:

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“Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders’ war on the traditional family and radical feminism’s misogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.’’

Anyway, here’s a picture of Santorum addressing what is clearly an empty table, and looking faintly baffled in a hardhat.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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Photo via AP Images.