Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Speed 2: Cruz Control

Watch out for that guy behind you!
Last night’s Iowa caucuses was not quite a shocker.  The number one and number two spots for each was pretty much a given.  You’d have had as much chance flipping a coin as trying to read the political tea leaves.  I’m pretty certain I called it for Trump, but I’d forgotten that, at the end of the day, Trump is clown shoes.  Outrageously big, very distracting, but ultimately useless for the average voter.  Ted Cruz already had a base built up in Iowa, and painted the race as a choice between him and Trump—that totally paid off.

The upside, of course, is that Iowa rarely picks the GOP nomination. They are a lot better at picking the Democratic nominee though.  This was a real squeaker between Clinton and Sanders, so we know going forward this is going to be a Thunder Dome kind of campaign—two candidates enter, one gets their head put on a pike as a warning to all the rest.

C'mon Bessie—Pick a good'un!
The big winner for Iowa is Marco Rubio. I've had him pegged as the best potential nominee for some time. Of course, I also called for Jeb before Trump became a thing, so what do I know.  If you listened to the Armchair Blasphemy podcast, I made the (shaky) prediction that this was Rubio’s turning point.  I anticipated that he would grab the bronze, and this would be a turning point in the entire campaign.  A showing on the podium is important for Rubio because he is, at the end of the day, the least-bad choice among a sea of very bad choices.  I was, however, floored by just how good Rubio’s showing would be.  It’s an impressive take-away that shows the average voter has been paying attention, and isn’t just swayed by the Trump circus, or the scary Cruz ship.

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