The results of the Iowa Republican Caucuses are now known. So the candidates, from top to bottom, can now stop acting like they really care one way or the other about the people of that good state. I asked a Des Moines talk show host about the fact that once the caucuses are done, presidential hopefuls seem to rarely return to the places where they pressed the flesh with such passion for weeks earlier. He said Iowans used to that by now. How sad.
Now the roadshow moves to the Granite State of New Hampshire! Who will actually be moving on? Rick Perry's gone home to Texas, to "reassess" his campaign. We all know what that means. Just ask Herm Cain. Michele Bachmann, after saying she's staying in the race, canceled some campaign appearances in South Carolina. That leaves Gingrich, Paul, Santorum, Romney, and the only sane person in the race, Huntsman. Perry and Bachmann may yet continue, but not for long.
And what's at the end of the rainbow for these folks? More media coverage, for sure. The 24 hour news cycle now demands that each primary until the nomination is decided is the political equivalent of the Super Bowl. That makes it easier for the punditocracy to ply their trade, and cash those checks. By the way, did any of them forsee the "Santorum Surge"? Just asking.
Put bluntly, do any of these people really have what it takes to be President? Can Gingrich get past his past? Will Paul bury his racist and homophobic newsletters? Is Santorum, with his blather about airstrikes on Iran, for real? Is Romney now on a clear path to victory, or will the far right wing of his own party do him in?
For political junkies, this is manna from heaven. For everyone else, maybe not so much.