What Happened in Iowa Stays in Iowa
Santorum showed spunk, but still has not been vetted by the media, which was caught off-guard by his moment to shine. The candidates have been trading places in the sun for weeks. The media should have been ready. Romney showed he has staying power as he waits for friendlier turf in New Hampshire. Newt Gingrich looked pitiful and had a poor showing, along with the fact that his finances are slimming down. Ron Paul’s base was the most enthusiastic. And Bachmann closed up shop; down for the count. Perry, salving his ego, is holding on by threads, at least for now, and has the money to hang in there. In the end what does it all mean, these few votes that can change by the time of the Republican convention?
It is the best of our electoral system and it is the worst. We watch the man-on-the-street interviews in small Iowa towns and diners. Some residents may seem to reflect values held by many, but others seem out of touch as though they are not so blighted by the economy and are immune to big-city businesses. All seem mightily influenced by their respective churches. But it is interesting.
The media blitzes get us all riled up. Sometimes we cheer what “We, the people,” say and other times we slap our foreheads as in, “I can’t believe he said that!” It’s a slice of Americana. It is like a marriage that stays together for the sake of the kids, only in this instance it is for the sake of American politics. It is our tradition. It’s almost like being with relatives during the holidays because you have to be there, not because you like what they are serving.
The worst of what happened in Iowa were the attack ads, proffered by those who could afford them (Romney) and not done by those running out of money (Gingrich). It is not the Iowa caucuses so much as it is the shaping by the media for the electoral process. It is the best reality show on TV! It does not, however, serve as a direct portend of things to come.
Governor Mike Huckabee’s 2008 victory in Iowa became a mere blip by the time of the GOP convention. Mondale won Iowa in 1984 and did not go far. Even Obama, who had an Iowan triumph in 2008, still had months of turmoil and struggle. And lest we forget, Reverend Pat Robertson had a strong showing in Iowa way back in 1984. It was an empty victory as the process went on.
So truly, very often what happens in Iowa stays in Iowa, but it is an integral part of the American democratic process. As quickly as the polls closed there, the media was already speculating about New Hampshire and the candidates hit the road. Iowa gave us more questions than answers about the candidates, but what great entertainment. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum emerged in a virtual tie – eight votes separating them. The Donald could not trump the reality show of Iowa.
Tags: american politics, attack ads, bachmann, city businesses, electoral process, electoral system, foreheads, governor mike huckabee, iowa caucuses, iowa towns, man on the street, mike huckabee, newt gingrich, places in the sun, republican convention, romney, street interviews, trading places