01/11/12

Runnin’ Thangs

In case you missed it because you’re a normal person with better things to do, Mitt won New Hampshire last night. Paul took second.

I don’t have any plans on voting for Romney.

But, he strikes me as the guy at the water cooler who doesn’t like sports but tries to make football conversation anyway. “Oh, yeah, Thomas Brady sure is a great football thrower and quarterback player.”

Romney is hyper-competent. In the words of a good friend, “He just runs thangs.” Although his campaign certainly emphasizes his managerial abilities, he also seems constantly forced to stray into all sorts of social and ideological areas out of his depth and concern. I think this is largely where he invites the flip-flop criticisms. He would rather just nerdily solve problems. That inclination probably would make for a good president. But, instead he has to run around pretending he likes fife and drum marches and three-cornered hats. No one’s really buying it.

Up next is South Carolina, the sort of cornered animal of the political electorate. Republican voters in SC see their entire way of life as being under a kind of cultural and political assault. Romney’s tendency to forget he’s the problem-solving adult in the room will be on full display.

But, if he wants to win SC, my home state, he’s going to have to go through me. And, I’m promising free kittens and rainbows if elected. An, unassailable platform.

I am on the road and utterly exhausted. I’m sure there’s not a complete sentence or thought in this entire entry. Between the pardons in Mississippi and unrest in Syria and Sarah Burke’s accident, there was probably a better story here. But, sometimes you just have to pull the trigger and do a SC primary rap, right? (In the history of communication, have those words ever been written before??)

Performed by the ipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

Today’s song blog here:

Don't Tread on Me

01/4/12

Eight is Enough

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