Category Archive 'Iowa Caucuses'

07 Feb 2016

Just One More Time

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CruzCheated

05 Feb 2016

Sore Losers

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Carson-Trump

Quinn Hillyer, like a lot of the rest of us, is tired of listening to sore losers whining.

[T]here was Ben Carson calling a press conference to complain about Cruz’s somewhat misleading email to caucus captains that could be read, between the lines, to be suggesting Carson would soon withdraw from the race. But once he got into the presser, Carson tried to make it sound as if he wanted to move on, but that it was the media trying to pit candidates against each other like gladiators in an arena. Neat trick: Call a press conference to complain while saying you’re not the one complaining.

But of course, nobody could top Donald Trump for over-the-top sour-grapeness. The surprise loser of the Iowa evening went so far as to demand a re-vote vote in the Hawkeye State or, barring that, a disqualification of all Cruz’s votes, on the grounds that Cruz supposedly “stole” the election. “If you think about it, I really finished first,” Trump claimed to a crowd in Little Rock.

Yeah, right — and when Muhammad Ali knocked Sonny Liston to the canvas, it was really Liston who was the victor.

All of this is a sorry spectacle. It contrasts with the dignified exits of candidates Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum, with Santorum also offering an entirely positive endorsement for Rubio with nary a bad word about anybody. While Republicans should of course want candidates who don’t like to lose, they surely don’t want candidates who don’t know how to take a loss.

Forgive the old-fashioned use of gender images, but there was a time when real men would move on from a loss with gracious fortitude. Think of golfer Jack Nicklaus smilingly congratulating rivals Lee Trevino and Tom Watson when they broke his heart with unlikely chip-ins, and you get the picture of how setbacks ought to be handled.

03 Feb 2016

The Trump Mutiny

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TrumpQueeg

03 Feb 2016

Democrat Result Iowa

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03 Feb 2016

Republican Iowa Result

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TrumpIowa

02 Feb 2016

Ross Douthat Was a Happy Man Last Night

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TweetDouthat

01 Jan 2012

Iowa Caucuses: Who Cares?

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The Iowa caucuses are caucuses, not even a primary. They have a lousy record of predicting the eventual nominee, but their significance in the eyes of the media grows larger and larger and larger in the absence of any meaningful reportable activity in the presidential nomination contest.

Fred Cagle argues that we are all wasting our time by paying so much attention to Iowa. Iowa is like those NFL pre-season games: the teams don’t always have their acts together or even care all that much. The real contest season that counts starts later.

I’ve always considered the Iowa caucus a speed bump on the road to picking a president—the place where televangelist Pat Robertson beat George H.W. Bush, and it was won last time by President Mike Huckabee. My suspicions were confirmed when I went out there in 2008 to follow a group of Tennessee legislators campaigning for Fred Thompson.

Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia went to Iowa and spent time there in 1976 and when he won the caucus he was an overnight sensation. In addition to all his other sins, Carter injected an anonymous collection of house parties out on the prairie into the national conversation. Political reporters discovered they could start the coverage of the presidential campaign early and they learned to love Des Moines. Hey, it was the heartland.

The caucus season begins with presidential candidates slavishly kissing the ring of Archer Daniels Midland and ethanol subsidies. Then the candidates buy voters tickets and feed them to get them to a barbecue/straw poll and the press treats it like it means something. …

Will winning Iowa give someone momentum into the primaries? John McCain finished fourth in Iowa, and then won South Carolina.

New Hampshire takes pride in picking its own winner, rarely paying much attention to the farmers out on the prairie.

My point in all this is that the Iowa caucus has very little to do with who becomes president. It is a prelude to the real campaign and it entertains the press and political junkies. It is a place for candidates to practice a stump speech.

The results this time will not tell us anything about who will win the nomination, but we’ll have wall to wall coverage anyway. I don’t see any way we will ever relegate Iowa to the position it deserves.


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