The Iowa Caucus
Today is the day that we've all been waiting for. The Republican contenders are going head to head in the Iowa Caucus in hopes of securing the necessary momentum needed to peruse their way to the Republican Nomination. Before we get into strategy, prediction and our overall thoughts on today's caucus, I invite you to view a hilarious video I saw Monday evening. I think this video gives the most real and rare glimpse into Iowans and how they really view politics.
Let's get started.....
Today's players are.....
Willard "Mitt" Romney
Willard is making a second round attempt at the Presidency and is praying to all gods that he can turn out a win. Surrounded by the evangelical Christian right, Willard has done everything except shave his head to turncoat himself into the ideal candidate that the Iowa Caucus voters would be comfortable with. If only Willard had stayed true to his principles, stood behind his record and embraced his wealth and privileged upbringing, I think more voters would be comfortable with him. Instead he comes off as the typical turncoat politician who will say or do anything to secure a vote. I can't see a victory in the caucus for Willard and a loss tonight will put a serious damper on his campaign and overall strategy.
Oh, who can forget Newt? Newt led the charge in the 90's to impeach President Clinton for sexual indiscretions, when Newt himself was participating in extra-martial activities himself. He is the epitome of a hypocrite. If you can manage your household and marriage, who are you supposed to run a country. Newt doesn't stand a chance in Iowa and couldn't hold a candle to President Obama in the general election. Newt has too much baggage and scandals yet uncovered that would tarnish the Republican Party and hand President Obama a victory, without much effort. By his own admission, Newt knows that he doesn't stand a chance at winning the caucus today, but has vowed to remain in the primary until the very end, regardless of todays outcome or how far he continues to sink in the polls.
Ricky Rosé! For my hip hop heads, Mr. Pretty Ricky with his seven kids, v-neck sweaters and no funds in the campaign bank account, just might pull a victory out of the bag. Late surges have many predicting a Santorum victory today. I am not buying into this dream just yet. Santorum hates Gay Americans and went on record to express his hatred. He is also on the extreme right of his party, citing that he would bans abortions in all cases, including incest and rape. Smh!
Governor Perry can't remember what federal agencies he would cut, let alone the US Constitution, so he CAN NOT be trusted to hold the Presidency. He admittedly hates America and was never held accountable for his actions or words. Texas Succession Movement ring a bell to anyone? If you don't even want to be apart of the union, how can you hold the highest office in the union. Besides, Perry supports the Dream Act and the HPV shot for young girls, two absolute no no's for the evangelical right.
There is not enough time or space for me to give my god honest thoughts on Michelle Bachmann. You've all seen the debates and heard the interviews. Michelle Bachmann as President of the United States would get us all killed and the country wiped off the map. I do think its quite ironic that she pulled a major victory in last years Iowa Straw Poll, but has tanked in the polls since then. Michelle Bachmann is bat shit crazy and we don't need her in any public office. It's just dawned on me, that we might have an opportunity to get rid of her this year. If she's running for President long enough, she can't run for reelection in her congressional seat.
Granpda Ron! Please sit down! However, on a serious note, I think Ron Paul can seriously pull an upset in Iowa today. What's unfortunate about Ron Paul is his ability to pull any voter in with just a few of his ideas, but then he messes it up by expressing discontent for landmark cases like Brown v The Board of Education or saying that "Jim Crow" and discrimination would have worked itself out, without government intervention.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the day and later this evening as the results come in.
Give your prediction, who will win the Iowa Caucus?
Will today's caucus predict the candidate who will ultimately get the nomination and face off with President Obama in November?
Is the Iowa Caucus truly reflective of the US electorate?
Are any of these candidates viable candidates and will do they have a real chance at taking the White House?
The results are in! After all of the hype, negative TV ads, robocalls and more debates than we can count, the people of Iowa finally took to the polls in record numbers and made their voices known. So who finally won and, more importantly, who lost? The Iowa Caucus results are as follows:
|Results for Iowa Republican Caucus (U.S. Presidential Primary)|
|Jan 03, 2012 (100% of precincts reporting)|
|1. Mitt Romney||30,015||24.6%|
|2. Rick Santorum||30,007||24.5%|
|3. Ron Paul||26,219||21.4%|
|4. Newt Gingrich||16,251||13.3%|
|5. Rick Perry||12,604||10.3%|
As you can see, a very narrow victory for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney over the latest rising star, former US Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum. And not to be forgotten, Texas Congressman Ron Paul established himself as a quasi-viable candidate at 3rd Place. However, the true winner in last night's Iowa Caucus is Rick Santorum. Not only did he galvanize the conservative vote and nearly beat Mitt Romney, but what's more impressive is that he did it on a shoe string budget spending a mere few hundred thousand dollars compared to the millions of dollars that Mitt Romney poured into Iowa. Moreover, due to the negative nature of Mitt Romney's attack adds on former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Newt declared during his speech last night that he fully endorses Rick Santorum and that he (Newt) will now dedicate his energies to helping Santorum take down Mitt Romney.
It is also notable to observe the sharp contrast between the top two candidates last night during their respective victory speeches. Rick Santorum went before Romney and delivered a moving speech that was from the heart. He spoke of his grandfather who worked in a coal mine so that he could support his family and he connected that to the #1 issue on voters' minds: jobs. He spoke about family values and the human condition through his daughter who was born with a disability. And last but not least, he gave thanks to God for his win in such a genuine way that it rang sincere to both evangelicals and non-evangelicals alike. In short, it was by far the most compelling speech that Rick Santorum has ever made and likely introduced him for the first time to a nation that may not really know who he was before last night's victory.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, came off as very fake, insincere, and like a bit of a used car salesman. Indeed, after seeing Santorum's speech Romney's staff quickly removed the teleprompters that Romney was going to use so that he would seem more sincere like Santorum. Had he spoken before Rick Santorum it would not have been as bad, but following a sincere heart-felt speech like the one delivered by Santorum provided an undeniable contrast that likely forced many-a-republican to reevaluate their support of Mitt Romney last night. Romney led by speaking about Iran's possible nuclear threat and eventually threw a few tid bits about jobs in towards the end. Not a good move. His speech was the antithesis of Santorum's, providing weak talking points and noticeably rehearsed stump speech lines. It was like watching Beyonce's solo in Dream Girls after watching Jennifer Hudson's solo bring the entire audience to a standing ovation.
As far as the "losers" of the evening, Texas Governor Rick Perry wasted no time in announcing his return to Texas to "reassess" his campaign. Prior to taking 5th place last night, Perry had never lost an election. The Iowa Caucus finally ended that winning streak for Perry and we will likely see him announce a full resignation from the race shortly. The only question is who will then pick up his votes? It is no secret that Perry's people do not particularly care for Mitt Romney, therefore it stands to reason that Perry's 10% will go towards the conservative Rick Santorum whether he gives a full endorsement of Santorum or not. Now that Perry is out of the race it begs the question of why he ever entered the race to begin with. His introduction into the race was surrounded by a lot of hype and, to his credit, it did manage to single-handedly relegate Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann to the single digits (where she remained last night) but at the end of the day Perry will likely be remembered for committing the worst gaffes in political history. As Rick Perry would say, "Audios Mo Fo."
Speaking of Bachmann, she finished in what was effectively dead last (6th place), beating only Jon Huntsman (who did not participate in Iowa), Herman Cain (who dropped out weeks ago) and Buddy Roemer (who nobody knows). During her "victory" speech last night, she did not drop out of the race but instead stubbornly announced her intention to continue to make sure Barack Obama (whose name she repeated about 20 times more than any other candidate) is a "one term president." In fact, you could summarize Bachmann's entire candidacy as one big anti-obama infomercial. Whereas the other candidates in the GOP primary focused on winning the primary, Bachmann focused solely on denigrating President Obama with unchecked and factually inaccurate misinformation every time she opened her mouth. Indeed, out of all the candidates, Congresswoman Bachmann probably received the official "pants on fire" award from factcheck.org more than anybody else. Nevertheless, despite the fact that Iowa is Bachmann's home state and she won the Iowa straw poll a few months ago, she received only 5% of the vote there last night. Even though she did not announce it last night, after speaking with a few donors she has decided to bow out this morning and has officially ended her bid for the White House.
In conclusion, the Iowa Caucus served its purpose to trim the fat by eliminating Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. Ron Paul will not likely be able to recreate the magic in New Hampshire or South Carolina that catapulted him to 3rd place last night in Iowa. Going forward, the race seems to be shaping up as a contest between Rick Santorum (who represents the social conservatives) and Mitt Romney (who represents the establishment Republicans).