• Rick Santorum is George Washington? Our Candidates in History

    As my colleague and ally Jess reported recently, Rick Santorum may be the next George Washington. (It seems especially likely if you don't know much about George Washington.) Which got me wondering, what are some other historical counterparts to our modern political leaders?

    1. Mitt Romney and Stephen Douglas

    An 1850s U.S. senator who went down as one of the most notorious waffling pansies in American politics might not sound like Mitt Romney at first, but bear with me. While undeniably a dirtbag (he thought slavery should be able to expand into the western territories), Douglas wasn't enough of one for the hardcore southern extremists (he thought western territories could exclude slavery if they wanted to). This failure to take a hard stand tore his party asunder as more immoderate voters flocked to other candidates. But that doesn't sound like Mitt, right?

    2. Newt Gingrich and Genghis Khan 


    Khan arrogantly slashed and burned his way through his enemies without heed for collateral damage or the long-term ill-will it would earn him. But on the other hand, Newt isn't Asian and his harem is smaller.

    3. Ron Paul and a cantankerous 1890s gold miner who doesn't care two bits for that fancy-pants government back east

    Wait. Ron Paul isn't that guy?

    Rick Santorum photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    Ron Paul photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    Mitt Romney photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    Newt Gingrich photo by David Becker/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    Prospector photo from General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    George Washington, Genghis Khan, Stephen Douglas images from Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


    Tags: George Washington, History, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul

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