SEPARATED AT BIRTH: Rick Santorum/McLovin’

Just sayin’.

RELATED: We will soon find out whether Santorum’s Iowa momentum will pay dividends in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and beyond. It’s not clear that he has the message, organization, and fund-raising ability to make that happen. But even if he falters, Jon Huntsman fails to catch fire, and Mitt Romney starts to pull away from the pack, it’s worth pausing to consider Santorum’s sweater vests and their relationship with what we want in a president. Until the media took notice, Santorum seems to have given little thought to his wardrobe – unlike Romney, whose Iowa fashion statement, his now-famous jeans, bespoke studied calculation. I don’t know if Romney could tell you where his jeans were purchased or, for that matter, by whom. But Santorum, we learned, stocks up on his sweater vests when they go on sale at Joseph A. Bank – which is what made me take notice, because that’s where I buy mine. The sweaters, it seemed, were “authentic.” Unfortunately, authenticity, especially when measured by how a candidate’s biography reflects his or her values, is an overrated commodity in politics. While it would be nice if Santorum’s down-to-earth fashion sense and family history – he is the grandson of a Pennsylvania coal miner – made him an authentic champion of ordinary Americans, there’s really no meaningful conclusion to be drawn from those facts. MORE

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