Blank

BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


August 14, 2007

What Was It?

Roy Meachum

The carnival at Iowa State University over the weekend had absolutely nothing to do with the nation's democratic process. Regard the $35 price to vote. Something like that could have occurred to Republicans from that corn-fed state.

Compared to 1999, the last time the GOP had no incumbent president to support, participation fell a third: down to approximately 15,000 from 24,000.

Only GOP-registered residents could participate, but media reported lots of plates from all over the Middle West. We can assume liberals were not crowding the highway. The weekend's emphases were on abortion and gay rights: Iowa Republicans are "agin" both.

Nobody has come up with what the Saturday-Sunday hoedown cost, but Mitt Romney was the biggest spender. Guess who come out ahead? The ex-governor, of course.

Significant candidates for the right to succeed George W. Bush didn't bother. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain lead that list, followed by the will-he-won't-he former senator from Tennessee. Word now is that Fred Thompson will finally declare next month. We'll see.

Turns out the shindig was a big fundraiser for the Iowa GOP and it came up a winner. First guesses estimate the party's take topped a cool million. Not bad for a carnival side-show that has nothing to do with democracy, as I said.

>From a state population that numbers nearly three million, more than half Republicans, Mr. Romney received a whopping 4,516 straw ballots. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee rated 2,587. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback wound up third, with 2,193.

Fellow Midwesterner and Wisconsin's ex-governor Tommy Thompson fell far short of his supporters' hope. He said, in advance, he would drop out if he didn't make the top two. He didn't, and he did.

The question still lingering this morning: How much did Mr. Romney benefit from his fellow Mormons in Iowa? There is a goodly number, although the exact count is not available.

With their sense of clannishness that has helped them survive, I can't imagine LDS members staying away, especially since their man had the deep pockets to pay their way. And Iowa traditionally has enjoyed the benefits of providing a place to live for large numbers of Joseph Smith's followers. In central Iowa alone, there are enough to put the straw poll firmly in Mr. Romney's pocket.

Less than 2, 000 ballots separated the winner from the second-place Mr. Huckabee. The post-vote preening and posturing in Mr. Romney's camp seems much to do about very little, from my perch on North Market.

If you're trying to figure the estimated costs, here are things to consider. Both Mr. Romney and the former Arkansas governor took similar sites for their main tents, at roughly $25,000 each. Nearly 400 buses were hired. The attendees soared to 40,000 (many came in their own car, trucks and SUVs). There was food galore and maybe booze, but not under Mr. Romney's auspices. Mormons do not drink booze and coffee, under their dietary rules.

Since only around 15,000 were official delegates; how much do you guess each vote cost? Even with all the wealth in Salt Lake City, the former Massachusetts governor could not buy the national Republican nomination, never mind how liberal he is.

As governor, Mr. Romney backed a woman's choice on abortion and gay rights. He now opposes both. The rationale behind the switch: Ronald Reagan did the same.

But Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan and Iowa's straw poll should be treated as a GOP fundraiser. That's all.



Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

Advertisers here do not necessarily agree or disagree with the opinions expressed by the individual columnist appearing on The Tentacle.


Each Article contained on this website is COPYRIGHTED by The Octopussm LLC. All rights reserved. No Part of this website and/or its contents may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means - graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems, without the expressed written permission of The Tentaclesm, and the individual authors. Pages may be printed for personal use, but may not be reproduced in any publication - electronic or printed - without the express written permission of The Tentaclesm; and the individual authors.

Site Developed & Hosted by The JaBITCo Group, Inc. For questions on site navigation or links please contact Webmaster.

The JaBITCo Group, Inc. is not responsible for any written articles or letters on this site.