I am not a particular fan of Palin, who often does herself no favors despite the horrible smear job she has taken from the liberal media (and sometimes from some conservative media as well, not to mention McCain and his campaign staff), and I have no knowledge of the specific Santorum incident. However, having said that, it has been "sober, mature, thoughtful and reasonable" milquetoast conservatives, similar in nature to Hume, whose inability or unwillingness to stand up to the leftists and their agenda has enabled Obama and his ilk to bring us to where we are now. Despite his considerable baggage, Gingrich showed, for a while until he lost his way again, how to push back against the overt and covert biased liberals in the media.
When politically unknowledgeable or indifferent voters look at the parties, and, as a well-known political operative once said along this line, when they see one that looks like a strong horse and one that looks weak, they are naturally drawn to the strong horse.
John M Greco