Monday, February 1, 2016

Iowa Caucuses Prepare Parties for Long Fight

The Iowa Caucuses rarely mean much by the end of the primary season. However, they are the first to ring the bells of democracy that do sometimes continue ringing until Super Tuesday. They also tend to be a shooting gallery for the lesser candidates. 

Huckabee, O’Malley, already no more.

Trump’s glorious ‘I’m a Winner’ status has officially evaporated, and that’s being kind about it. Cruz rises from the ashes after being pummeled by not only Trump but by every other candidate and every establishment Republican for well over a month. Rubio, too, had a rousing finish, nearly besting Trump for a second place finish. In fact, he was quick to congratulate himself so he could board a plane for New Hampshire ahead of the blizzard.

In his speech after losing to Ted Crush,Trump surprisingly was the candidate many thought he couldn’t be. He was not combative. He was not defensive. He was extraordinarily gracious in defeat. Perhaps, this was even more stunning than the win by Cruz.

Clinton and Sanders were neck and neck all night, despite higher than expected turnout, which should have favored Sanders. This seemed to place in doubt the idea of a revolution spearheaded by Sanders. He moves on to a stronghold of Sanders, where Clinton is most certain to come in second. But, New Hampshire is also known to make stunning last minute decisions. In 2008 it brought back to life Clinton’s campaign after her stunning defeat in Iowa to Obama, after all. 

For the Republicans, the establishment-governing lane has another shot at Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. The Bush money-burning machine seems to only be a furnace for rising the other candidates it targets. Christie seems to bluster his way much like the hurricanes and nor’easters that have flooded New Jersey. Kasich, recently garnering the New York Times editorial board endorsement for the Republican nomination, may have yet another opportunity. How many glances can this Ohio governor receive? 

In the end, with both outcomes tonight, the primary season for both parties nominations appears to be a long, hard fight. If you enjoy politics, it’s a gift. If you hate it, what’s wrong with you? If you get angry about politics, it’s yet another opportunity to learn patience, understanding, and above all compassion for each other. 

We are, after all, Americans. We may have different political views, make different decisions, but that’s what makes our country truly great and has for over two centuries. We can make mistakes, we can learn from each, and we always keep moving forward.

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