Caucus diary: Rick Santorum goes pheasant hunting while rest of field elsewhere

ADEL, Iowa – Today is a week from the Iowa caucuses, but Rick Santorum got an advantage on the rest of the field yesterday.

He headed back onto the campaign trail while his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination made their way back to Iowa or prepared to campaign elsewhere.

Acknowledging that many likely caucus goers weren’t quite ready so soon after Christmas for the give-and-take of a town hall meeting, Santorum aimed for a two-fer: appealing to the important caucus conservative base while having some fun himself pheasant hunting.

Among those in his party were his 19-year-old son John, as well US Representative Steve King, an Iowa Republican whose endorsement Santorum and the rest of the field are still seeking.

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Santorum touched all the right bases, sporting an “NRA’’ cap, complimenting King on his Weatherby shotgun, and revealing he bought two such guns for his children as Christmas presents.

Doc’s Hunt Club, about a half-hour west of Des Moines, also provided an all-American backdrop: “Gunner’’ the Chesapeake Bay Retriever kept watch back at the lodge, while a cook simmered pheasant stew and other preparations in a set of crockpots for the post-hunt feast.

REPORTER’S DIARY:

Date: Monday, Dec. 26, 2011

Locations: Boston Logan International Airport; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; Des Moines International Airport; Doc’s Hunt Club, Adel, Iowa; Des Moines.

Mileage driven: 46 miles

See the map here.

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