Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Iowa Primary Results...Veddy Interesting

Wednesday AM, Post-Iowa Caucus:

Such an interesting race to the GOP nomination this year!

I stayed up as long as I could to watch the results in Iowa, and ended up hanging off the couch almost upside-down (which makes the cadidates' faces look very long, in an interesting optical-illusion aside.)  The rest of the fam had long gone to bed, and after 11 PM it was clearly shaping up to be Santorum's night, a tie being a win in this case. (I think Romney was 3 votes ahead in the end.)  Who would have guessed just a week before, when it looked like Newt Gingrich would be the big opponent for Romney?  Newt is now calling people liars and looking utterly exhausted.

I think that Romney is vulnerable to Santorum in a way he has not been vulnerable to the others because a) Santorum has no baggage, like the other contenders (Cain, Newt, Perry's early debate flubs), and b) Santorum is truly conservative in a narrowing field.  Mitt has had to play the game by switching positions to move ahead, which I don't entirely oppose - views do change, and you must be pliable, let's call it, to move forward in politics.  But Santorum is who he is, or seems to be who he is (does that even make sense?)

This election is so important, that in the end, the candidate must be able to beat President Obama.  Period.  If the jobs numbers look up, the President will gain swift traction, even though he is currently boasting Carter-like numbers of the approval-type.  Yikes!  The Republican nominee must be a good debater, have no "buzz-phrase" weaknesses (Romneycare), and must be able to connect with independents (I think this ultimately goes to Mitt, with his business experience.  It will be a JOBS referendum.)

There is something seemingly made of steel about Romney - he just presses forward, from election to election, debate to debate, and now primary to primary.  There is a forced-jovial doggedness to him that is both impressive and scary.  Remember the scene in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" where Butch and Sundance are being chased through the plains, and they keep looking back, and then at each other, and saying "Who IS that guy?"  His name is Mitt Romney, boys.

The next two debates will tell so much; buckle your seat belts and grab your score cards!

**I am assuming this is goodbye for Bachmann; good job, girl.  Good effort.**

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