It wasn't clear whether Sen. David Vitter, R-La., was going to show up at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this weekend. He's been out campaigning for reelection, pushing back against a challenge from Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon, and he wasn't originally scheduled to appear. (Perhaps his recent history hits too close to home for a party trying to pretend its national committee didn't just spend nearly $2,000 at a risqué Hollywood nightclub?)
But Saturday morning, Vitter strolled out to introduce former Sen. Rick Santorum -- and to push back a bit against President Obama. "If that's the choice in 2012, I'll take a TV personality over a community organizer any day," he said.
TV personality? Whoever could he mean?
Vitter also urged Republicans to "keep reaching out to our friends in the tea party movement." "They're maligning the tea party effort," he said. "You're going to see a campaign to malign that movement, in particular, like never before... And you're going to see a determined effort to try to misuse that effort to try to split our vote."
Melancon, meanwhile, will hold a rally across town later Saturday.