Unlike most political figures who sport starched suits, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has become famous for his V-neck sweater vests, reminiscent of high-school teachers everywhere. But now, they’re more than just a political fashion statement. Rick Santorum’s campaign has sold 3,000 vests, according to his communications director, Hogan Gidley:
Even before his big wins in the South, Santorum’s vest had taken on a life of its own online. All of a sudden, his secret weapon wasn’t so secret anymore with Twitter accounts, a Pinterest board and a YouTube video paying homage to the vest. According to MSNBC, earlier this year, Santorum played along with parodies by making a special campaign stop in Bemidji, Minn., where the Woolen Mills store manufactures his signature look.
Maybe the theory that Santorum’s vests have given him a boost isn’t totally off base. They certainly draw attention, and even border on endearing. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, Santorum saw an increase in his poll numbers after attending Mike Huckabee’s Iowa anti-abortion forum in his sweater. Santorum says that was the pivotal point for Team Sweater Vest. “That speech went over very, very well. If there was one event that really began the moment, it was that speech,” he tells radio host Laura Ingraham. “And I think most people recognized that here, so all the sudden the sweater vest was like, ‘Fear the vest.’ ”