Political Season Has Begun!

The Iowa caucus marks the official start of the 2012 election season!  It was a historic caucus with the final vote coming down to just eight votes in favor of Romney.   Here is my rundown of the Iowa Caucus by candidate from the lowest finish to the winner!

Jon Huntsman– He did not compete in Iowa at all and has focused his time on New Hampshire.  Republicans have not given him a chance but I think he is a great candidate for the Republican Party.  I hope he takes a turn as the frontrunner like everyone else; he is definitely more worthy of it than some of the others.

Michelle Bachmann– Not much to say about her.  She lost her home state after winning the straw poll.  It’s time for her to pack it up, America clearly isn’t buying her brand of loony.

Rick Perry– Perry clearly did not think running for President would be this difficult.  He has faced some ugly campaigns in Texas and has always managed to win! Perry entered this race having never lost a political election ever. That is virtually unheard of!  Romney lost a bid for Congress as did President Obama and Santorum lost reelection.  I’d imagine Perry entered this race with a little arrogance, some of that comes from being a Texan too.  I also think Perry has gotten far on looks and charisma in life but it just was not working on the national stage.   The failure of his campaign falls on him.  He never had to fight his way to the top like many of the other candidates he came in on top!  He just never could handle the debates, and slowly dwindled.  After his disappointing finish in Iowa yesterday Perry said he is headed back to Texas to re-evaluate his campaign.  Sounds like he’s hanging it up but I would not be surprised if he stays around until South Carolina.  Perry and Gingrich (both Southerners) seem to think that state will be great for them.  Whether he continues or not this campaign is done, he is not making it to the White House.  Now as a Texan, I hope he doesn’t get his election mojo back anytime soon!

Newt Gingrich–  Look for Gingrich to really start going after Romney after his disappointing finish. The day of the caucus he called Romney a liar.  Those are fighting words!   Gingrich continues to speak out against attack ads targeting him. These ads are put out by Romney supporters who Romney claims he has no control over.   Romney may not technically have control over these groups but rest assure if they were producing ads that were running contrary to his message they would be calling them. Essentially Romney has approved these messages regardless of what he says.   Anywho, Gingrich’s complaints about these ads make him seem like a cry baby if you ask me.  Politics is an ugly game; play at your own risk!  He’s crying now but Gingrich will not be crying for long, expect him to start playing dirty too!  He does not have the money to go at Romney in a similar manner but he will use the debates for this.  During debates Gingrich usually tries to play the great unifier among the Republicans but that will be out of the door next time!

So why did Gingrich do so poorly in Iowa? I’d say his past came back to haunt him.   We have only had one president who was divorced before, Ronald Reagan.  Think about that even in modern times, even after the Marilyn Monroes and Monica Lewinskys only one president was divorced!  That says something about what Americans expect of our presidents even if we do not value the same in our own lives.  Gingrich has been married three times. His earlier marriages ended after he began affairs with his next wife.   I do not hold the extreme conservative viewpoints of the Evangelicals that make of the Republican Party in Iowa but even I have to question the man’s character based on his personal life!  Gingrich’s personal life got a lot of play after he took his turn as the top candidate.  I think that was one of the things that bothered Iowans.   I am not too sure how he will do here on out. His calm demeanor is starting to show cracks, and his extreme arrogance is showing more and more.

Ron Paul– Can I just say that he is one of my favorite politicians of all time in both parties.   I will leave his connection to bigoted statements aside for this post.  I just love that he is just about the truth whether his audience likes it or not. There is a lot of pandering done by the other candidates and  Paul is not going to do it!  It also cracks me up that he constantly wears what looks like a 15 year old off the rack suit! He clearly has no image consultant but that is what makes people like him! Is he extreme in his views, yes and I often do not agree with him but I give him credit for standing up saying what he believes! I think finishing third is great for Paul, it shows that he is no longer just a fringe candidate.  I don’t think Paul will win but his presence in the Republican primary can bring attention to unpopular views like not just jumping into a war with Iran as many of the other candidates have suggested.

Rick Santorum– Where did he come from in Iowa?? It seems like everyone has taken his or her turn at the top of the pack (except for poor Huntsman) and I guess it was just Santorum’s turn.  Luckily for him the timing of his rise happened to fall within the week of the Iowa Caucus.  This could create the momentum he needs to stay at the top a lot longer than the other candidates did but I do not think that will happen.  Santorum will likely suffer the same fate of Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and then Newt Gingrich.  They were all leaders of the pack for a few weeks then back down to the bottom.   The ironic thing is that Mitt Romney has sat back unscathed during this whole musical chairs episode.  We will see how he handles the new spotlight during the next debate.  He will now be front and center flanked by Romney and Ron Paul with former leaders Perry and Gingrich pushed to the nosebleeds.  I think he will choke.

Mitt Romney–  From the beginning Romney has been the most realistic candidate for the Republican party but for some reason he just cannot get the party to rally behind him! The “anyone but Romney” mission is alive and well.  It is to blame for the constantly changing frontrunner. Despite all of the negativity, Romney has run a decent campaign without huge blunders like Herman Cain or Rick Perry.   This go around Romney did not put has much effort into winning Iowa and still managed to have a fight to the finish with Santorum.  There is no excitement about it but Romney will keep trucking along and will be the last man standing.  So it’s time to face it Republican Party, Romney is your candidate for the general election, get excited.

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