The Iowa caucus just keeps getting weirder.
In an effort to win a plurality of perhaps 120,000 votes tonight — 8 percent of all the people living on the island of Manhattan, and less than 5 percent of the total population of Iowa — the candidates have pulled out all the stops this week.
It isn’t pretty. Newt Gingrich called Mitt Romney a liar. Rick Santorum said that Ron Paul is “disgusting.” And NBC News reports that Rick Perry compared beating President Obama to defeating the Nazis in World War II.
“This election is about stopping a president of the United States and his administration that is abusing the Constitution of this country, that is putting America on a track to bankruptcy,” Perry told a hotel ballroom packed with more than 200 volunteers. “This is Omaha Beach. This is going up the hill realizing that the battle is worth winning.”
Wow. What a crew. But the fact is, one of these candidates will not only oppose President Obama in November, but could well beat him if the economy continues to limp along. And that is truly a scary thought. Even with recent improvements, the aggregate polling data shows President Obama with a roughly 47 percent approval rating right now. Slightly more people disapprove of his performance.
More importantly, however, are the the dark economic clouds still hanging over Europe and a Republican-led House of Representatives that has one goal: to defeat the president.
So what happens if things actually get worse in this country? Mitt Romney may be as slick as a greased pole or pig at the State Fair. But, perhaps because he was a decent enough governor during his four years in Massachusetts, he at least doesn’t terrify me the way some of these other folks do.
It’s true. He’d likely give Obama the toughest run for his money among Republican candidates. And that’s what the president and country deserve.
Oh yes. From what I’ve read, I’ll make a modest wager (not $10K) that Romney won’t win Iowa tonight. But then again, who cares? This is the beauty pageant preliminaries. The real voting begins in New Hampshire.