We just finished one of the cute colloquialisms of American government — the Iowa Caucus. Lunch room cafeterias, wooden ballot boxes, corn pone, rotary dial phones, flannel. Apparently, jarred from a deep winter’s hibernation by electoral big wigs, let’s say in Des Moines, a Caroline and Edith of Clinton County, Iowa phoned in the official results from their precinct to CNN at like 12:30 a.m. I swore for a couple of seconds my MaMa had misdialed John King. Nope. County chairwoman.
My favorite part is that in some years past, and maybe even last night (didn’t care enough to corroborate), the Caucus in certain precincts is conducted by a show of hands. Like the candidates are on some transfer of membership letter from the Fellowship Church of the Big Time Free and Clear Baptists. “All in favor? Is Donald voting or trying to force down a chaw??” None of this may be true. But, it sure is great to think about.
Romney prevailed by not only the narrowest margin of votes, a mere 8, but, I believe, the smallest plurality ever to take the State Caucus, 25 %. Notwithstanding the country-time fireworks and down-to-the-wire, barn loft theatrics of the caucus itself, it was a pretty underwhelming victory for Romney. And, yet at the same time the win almost certainly sealed the nomination for him. Gingrich appears to have been marginalized in a fairly conservative primary and Santorum, while likely to carry a bump from it into a handful of future primaries (NH not included), almost surely doesn’t have the machinery or the money or, heaven forbid, the political and sentence forming wherewithal to actually win. And, Paul, for all the energy applied to Iowa and his relative popularity there, didn’t make it happen. He may be able to justify a legitimate third-party run, however.
Much like his public person, the win for Romney was sort of a boring, workman one. He underperformed, albeit slightly, his result from four years ago and narrowly beat someone that probably 65% of Americans didn’t even know was in the race. But, he’s steady, if not uninteresting, and probably has the cash and professional seriousness to be first past the post.
But, sometimes a boring, underwhelming win is just fine. Eight is enough.
I don’t want to get your hopes up, though. I’m not covering all these dang primaries. And, I don’t want to spoil my upcoming prediction for the 2012 presidential race, but let’s just say it seems pretty certain that none of these candidates poses any serious threat, notwithstanding the state of the economy at Obama’s feet.
Hopefully my ipredict 2012 very soon. I was lucky to find a second to fire this one off today.
Performed by the ipoetlaureate. Music produced pumpkinFoot.
Today’s song blog here:Show of Hands