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—For the past few weeks, there's been much speculation as to why Republican not-so-much front runner Rick Santorum decided to suspend his presidential campaign so late in his battle against Mitt "I Hate Poor People" Romney.  Some assumed that he could not raise enough money to keep up with Romney, others suggested that he was simply running out of things to say.  But the majority was convinced that he realized he was a complete lunatic and needed to drop out before he said some completely bizarre shit. I, however, didn't believe any of that.  He had the looks and creepy bravado to keep the money coming in; he was smart enough to keep making up things to say that foolish supporters would somehow relate to and agree with; and he definitely doesn't care what most people think about his ideologies—he's a politician for crying out loud. It took days upon days of research to figure out why a man of such strong determination would all of a sudden throw in the towel during the biggest moment of his life.   The answer: sweater vests. Sweater vests are synonymous with Rick Santorum.  He single-handedly brought sweater vests back from the dead in a big way.  Sure, he might look like a penis with his sweater vest on, but it gets the people thinking.  Is he wearing that as some kind of joke?  Is he trying to relate to the 0.1% of Americans that wear sweater vests?  Does he realize how his rhetoric mixed with his sweater vest attire make him look like a serial killer? To my surprise, I discovered that Santorum works with Wyoming-based designer Trip Scanty to custom-create his sweater vest wardrobe.  Trip, age 75, started his website ImBringinSweatVsBack.com in early 2010 out of his assisted living home senior room with a little cash and a Compaq laptop.  After only two months of being in business, he received a call from then- industry group consultant and former U.S. senator Rick Santorum. According to Scanty, Santorum told him that he actually stumbled across his website by mistake.  Santorum was meaning to look up the lyrics to Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" song to determine whether or not he wanted to use it as his campaign anthem for his future presidential run.  Next thing he knew, he was browsing a glorious site that would eventually help him bring his sexy back to the masses. Scanty told me that he was paid a substantial amount of money by an interest group with strong ties to Santorum to shut down his website and work exclusively with the Penn State alumnus.  Trip immediately accepted the offer, and he began designing the most ridiculously outrageous sweater vests for Santorum to showcase on the world stage. I asked Scanty how many times he's met with Rick Santorum, and he surprisingly told me that he's never seen him in person.  But, according to Trip, they "Skype all the time."  And this is why Trip Scanty needed answers when he was informed in the beginning of April 2012 that his services were no longer needed. The breakup was swift, and Scanty demanded a reason why Santorum would no longer wear his stupid-looking sweater vests.  The answer was touching, so touching that Trip decided to crawl out of his hole and tell somebody (me) since he was no longer allowed to contact Santorum or any political media outlets. It turns out that Republican hopeful Rick Santorum was told by the GOP that if he were to win the nomination for president, he would be required to wear a suit during his acceptance speech and during all televised debates with current president Barack Obama.  And they told him to not even think about wearing a sweater vest under his sports jacket. This was too much for Santorum.  After making the saddest phone call of his life to Trip Scanty, he realized that there was no way he could go on.  The sweater vests were his shield, his comfort zone, his superhero costume (the worst superhero in the history of superheroes).   No matter what insanely idiotic shit he said, he was still wearing a sweet sweater vest.  But all of that was stripped away from him by the once supportive Republican party.  It's a tragedy or sorts, as both men involved were separated from the thing they loved the most: sweater vests. As for Trip Scanty, he died last week.  Nurses at the assisted living facility found him in his room completely naked aside from his red sweater vest that read 'Trip&Rick Forever'.  -mistereffoex
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