Well, it’s over. The people of Iowa held their caucuses and decided the three candidates still on the S.S. Poseidon are Romney, Santorum and Paul. It sounds like a ‘60s folk group doesn’t it? They play the same confused musical sound bites. They complain about the country’s plight and make it sound like they’re the only ones can save it. All this is done while accompanying themselves with guitar, banjo and double bass. There were over 20 candidates. Some are/were serious and others are/were no more than a poorly delivered joke.
I traveled through Iowa. It was the second worst road travel I have ever suffered. (The first was Texas. It took three days to cover one state.) This isn’t an indictment of the people. They’re fine, lovely, caring and patriotic folks. But the scenery, after the first 100 miles is never changing. The beautiful amber waves of grain mile after mile are enough to drive anybody into a catatonic state. The boredom was extreme.
And it’s this sense of boredom that’s struck me over the last millennium (or at least it’s seemed like a thousand years) as the networks covered the Republican wannabees kissing buttocks and bouncing babies in Iowa. The coverage and speculation became cliché and boring.
Iowa will now be forgotten until next time. Michele Bachmann was an early front runner after winning a straw poll. Everybody salivated as she campaigned as a serious FEMALE candidate for the presidency. Now, she’s lost traction in her home state and bears little more weight than her ability to entice a real candidate to accept her endorsement. She’s bailing out today.
Herman Cain’s good ship lollipop sank beneath the waves after bombardment from unsubstantiated accusations of marital infidelity. All hopes of a political outsider accounting for any kind of difference from business as usual took residence next to the Titanic.
Newt Gingrich looks like a Gecko after being introduced to the underside of a tire on the roll: flattened and dead on arrival. As one pundit said it best, “they liked him least who knew him best” (Alex Castellanos). Gingrich’s campaign is a hastily thrown together and nearly self-destructing piñata seeking recognition as an organization.
Huntsman didn’t show up and Rick Perry has attracted the endorsement of Bobby Jindal. This appears to carry the impact of la bacio della morte (kiss of death). Perry is reassessing his position. Pawlenty had NO stamina and baled when he lost the straw poll to Bachmann. Gary Johnson has delivered himself up to the God of irrelevance (third party candidacy) and committed political suicide.
Ron Paul, the newest incarnation of Harold Stassen (a perennial candidate in Republican Party history who ran 12 times for the presidential nomination) has risen from the gutter to the curb and placed third in Iowa. Nobody will accuse him of being a statesman just because he was one state’s man. Foreign policy escapes him.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum appear to have taken the First and Second Place ribbons in this County Fair bake-off.
Romney is a shade less liberal than Obama. The lame stream media loves him and will be more than happy to handle him like an overly pliable Stretch Armstrong to pull in all directions they can because he’s taken all possible positions available in the past. His motto seems to be: “what will I flip-flop on today?” The fodder he offers the media is the fertilizer Obama will use in his campaign. After all Romney is the illegitimate father of Obama-care.
Santorum has resilience if nothing else. But he looks like a calf asking where mama went after she went through the big door in the slaughter house. Where Romney is sirloin for Obama to feast on Santorum is the veal. We’ll see how things go in the near 50 caucuses and primaries still to be held across the country.
Iowa must be viewed for what it is: irrelevant. In a political environment living by the coda of “what have you done for me lately”, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
I’m fighting a yawn as I speak.
Thanks for listening.