Iowa Straw Poll: Quick Thoughts-losers
In a view from the front lines, I offer a quick assessment of the losers from the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll, the worlds largest political state fair.
Mitt Romney, RINOs, and the moderate wing of the Republican Party
The Romney campaign will tell anybody willing to listen that they really didn’t care about the Straw Poll. They didn’t spend any time or money in the state of Iowa, so they did not have any expectations of doing well on Saturday. It is a good thing that they had low expectations for their candidate because Mitt Romney managed to under perform even the lowest expectations of his people. Rick Perry, who had been in the race only a few hours and was not even on the ballot, beat Romney as a write in candidate. Only four years ago, Gov. Romney won the Iowa Straw Poll, he did not win the caucus which was won by Mike Huckabee. He has the most name recognition, campaign experience, and probably the most money. Mitt Romney should have performed better on Saturday. So the question to answer is why did he perform so poorly? Iowa, along with much of the the heartland of the country, is ultimately a conservative electorate. Romneys’s version of the east coast moderate Republican is not going to take the day in Iowa or the Midwest in general. One only needs to look at the performance of John McCain in the last election, McCain the ultimate RINO or Republicrat did not stir the passions of the Republican Party, he was more of a “lesser of two evils” candidate. Romney and McCain’s version of Republicanism is no longer playing in Peoria, or Des Moines, or Cincinnati.
It is hard to put Ron Paul on the list of losers seeing that he came within a few hundred votes of winning the Straw poll on Saturday. His supporters are passionate and are well mobilized. His economic message fits in very well with conservatives and Tea Party members alike. However, his thoughts on foreign policy, as expressed in Thursday night’s debate and in his time on the campaign trail, are not going to be acceptable to the mainstream Republican voter. His hands off foreign policy ideas and his isolationist philosophy are not a reasonable stand to be taking if you are serious about leading the United States in these uncertain and dangerous times. I give credit to Mr Paul, he stands by his convictions and he truly believes that he has a plan for helping save America. Unfortunately, he is not a credible candidate for the Republican nomination and his candidacy has the potential to become farcical, which would be a disservice to a decent man and American.
Once again the mainstream media showed that they just don’t get us quaint but misguided Iowans. Our crazy ideas like balancing budgets and shrinking government along with our Judeo-Christian values are still foreign concepts to the bulk of the press corps. They try to minimize the impact of events like the Straw Poll or the Iowa Caucuses because they find it hard to believe that we can believe in the things that we do and are willing to stand up support the candidates who believe like we do. The “media” loves Mitt Romney because they understand him, he is one of them, and they are not afraid of him. Deep inside the establishment fears the rallying cry of the Tea Party or the 16,000 people that gave up a beautiful Saturday in August to be a part of the political process. A motivated Republican electorate is a dangerous threat to the status quo. A lesson that the left and their willing sheep in the media are finally starting to realize. They know that the 2010 Republican revolution was just game one of the double header and the Democrats got run ruled. Game two is November 2012 when the Republicans finish the job.
As always, that is the view from the cheap seats.