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Rick Santorum's secret weapon: Sweater vests?

Jan. 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM ET

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Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks to supporters with his wife Karen by his side at a campaign rally at the Pizza Ranch restaurant on Jan. 2 in Newton, Iowa

By Justin Fenner, Styleite

They say you should dress for the job you want, and not for the job you have. So will a garment as maligned as the sweater vest really help former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum win today’s Iowa caucus and eventually become president?

Santorum saw a bump in his poll numbers after attending Mike Huckabee's anti-abortion forum for GOP presidential candidates in Iowa about two weeks ago. He explained to radio host Laura Ingraham yesterday that ever since then, the vest has been almost as important to his campaign as his policy points.

“That speech went over very, very well. If there was one event that really began the moment, it was that speech. And I think most people recognized that here, so all the sudden the sweater vest was like, ‘Fear the vest,’” Santorum said.

If people don’t exactly fear the vest, they do supprt Santorum wearing it. Ingraham said on Fox News this morning that “people find it endearing; they kind of like it.” They like it so much that it now has its own Twitter account, which you can follow at @FearRicksVest, and a music video extolling its virtues, which you can watch below.

If Santorum has found a way to use his wardrobe to connect with voters, good for him. The GOP presidential campaign hasn’t had a clear front-runner since day one, so every advantage counts, and in a big way. But we hope for his sake that voters will like full-sleeved garments as much as sweater vests — we hear it’s going to be chilly during the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday.

Watch the Santorum campaign’s music video, "Sleeves Slow Me Down":

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