Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Real Lesson of Iowa – Those Who Finished in the Last Half

Up Close and Personal, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Perry and Ms. Bachmann Are Not Very Attractive Candidates

The pundits will take a few days to try and find more meaning in the Iowa Caucuses than is really there.  They will focus on the top three finishers, and speculate on what it means for Mr. Romney, Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum.  It won’t take long.

For Mr. Romney Iowa was a nice stop on his way to the nomination.  For Mr. Paul it was vindication that at least 20% of Republicans will support an extremist, and for Mr. Santorum it is the beginning of a well deserved end.  The professional commentators will try to make a race of it, but at this point the Republican nominee has been pretty much decided, as it has been since Mr. Perry imploded by actually walking onto the national scene and Mr. Christie walked off of it. (to be Attorney General Christie if Mr. Romney wins).

The real news in Iowa was the finish of Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Perry and Ms. Bachmann.  At one time all three were highly favored to do well in Iowa, Ms. Bachmann even winning the Straw Poll.  What happened?  Iowans got a good look at all three. 

Instead of the polished image which all three had hoped to present, when viewed up close the flaws of these three were finally identified.  Mr. Perry’s lack of knowledge, Mr. Gingrich’s many crazy ideas and bad temperament and Ms. Bachmann’s mean and vindictive nature became glaringly obvious to voters once they started paying attention.

And so the good news from Iowa is that voters do pay attention, and when they finally see what the rest of us have seen they react accordingly.  This in itself is reason enough to have the Iowa Caucuses, at least for now.

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