Political Analysis Paralysis
By Alan Caruba
Leading up to the Iowa caucuses and following in the wake of their results, the cable news channels and every other news media engaged in a paroxysm of political analysis, interviewing the candidates incessantly from the early hours of the morning until late at night.I suspect that for many Americans this excess of analysis causes them to “shut down” and ignore the race, the issues, and the candidates. I suspect, too, the avalanche of political advertisements in Iowa exhausted what enthusiasm might have existed.
Divided by eight votes for first place, Romney and Santorum split the lead with Paul in third. The other candidates will begin to fade from contention. Iowa is a popularity contest, not a real political race for delegates to the GOP convention.
I recall spending a day in 1972 with George McGovern as he made the rounds of party bosses in New Jersey. He would be decisively defeated by Richard Nixon. Ron Paul has the same base of idealistic youth who think his ideas would work in the real world. The grownups know they wouldn’t. If Paul were the GOP candidate, he would suffer a similar fate as McGovern.
Meanwhile, the cable news analysts found themselves saying the same things over and over again.
An example of this was Sarah Palin whose specialty is repeating the obvious while occasionally venturing an opinion such as her judgment that Michele Bachmann’s time has not come as a candidate. One might well have said the same of her when she was Sen. McCain’s bizarre selection to be on the GOP ticket in 2008. She was not ready for prime time then and is the darling of Fox News now for reasons only Rupert Murdock knows.
In addition to political analysis there were and are the polls which rose and fell on an hourly basis. Some like Rasmussen and Gallup are considered to be the most valid, but a host of others chimed in to leave one wondering whether polls really tell us anything other than those with land lines get called and those with cell phones do not.
I have participated in this all-American guessing game, but mostly to point out that Mitt Romney can get elected while the others cannot. I expressed strong reservations about Newt Gingrich and did my best to ignore Ron Paul.
Being first in the electoral process is Iowa’s quadrennial claim to fame.
In the end it simply does not matter what the outcome in Iowa is. Iowa’s voters represent a negligible amount of Republicans, a thin slice of rural America. Moreover, Iowa has a poor record for picking the next president. Its purpose is to be a battleground where candidates test their message, their organizational strength, their ability to get campaign funding, and whether they can stand up to the horrendous process of running for president.
All that matters in the forthcoming election is the defeat of Barack Obama. I still think Mitt Romney is the man to do it.
Failing Obama’s defeat, the near future of America would be in peril and his initial efforts to destroy the nation with Obamacare, open borders, and the thwarting of access to our vast energy reserves will succeed. The poll numbers hold the key and at this point Obama’s continue to fall even among his base.
Who will be the Republican nominee? He will be selected by the end of January after the voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida have their say.
© Alan Caruba, 2012