This post was originally made as a response to another site's post in support of Rick Santorum. I decided it was a decent enough post to make here with some modification. I hope you enjoy.
What an exciting finish to the Iowa first in the nation caucus. What do we have at the end of this 7+ hours of coverage and waiting for results? Zero Delegates. What happened tonight was the selection process for representatives to attend both Iowa's Congressional District Convention and the State Convention, where they will then nominate the delegates to attend the national convention in support of a candidate. In 2008, even though Huckabee won the caucus, McCain ended up with Iowa's delegates.
What the caucus really means is who survives onto the next round. As of this writing, there is high expectation that Rick Perry will drop out on Wed. morning. Mrs. Bachmann, too, will likely depart and serve out the rest of her term as a Congresswoman. I hope she does a wonderful job at it, and returns for another term.
Rick Perry's departure has got to hurt. It probably hurts him as bad as Romney's defeat in Iowa in 2008. I feel a little bad for him, because he probably thought this was going to be an easy sprint past Romney. But in politics, there are no friends.
Perry's defeat is significant because he has amassed a large pile of cash and has one or two super PACs which I doubt will end up in Romney's camp... Far from it. I suspect that this money and support will land in Santorum's camp within a couple of days. Enough time to try and mount opposition in NH. If they were smart, they will let NH go and spend money in the real battle state of SC and FL. (Personally, I hope they are not that smart.)
Adam Graham, over on race42012.com, made an impassioned defense that the moniker "flavor of the month" is demeaning to the candidates. I understand, respect, and, to a point, agree with his point. These candidates have earned enough "street cred" to garner enough support to run a national campaign. However, there is a reason the flavor of the month is appropriate. It is because that is the time it takes to vette the person and learn whether they are a viable candidate on the national stage.
Adam Graham states that Rick Santorum has successfully finished the race ahead of all of the other surging candidates. However, this is short-sighted in my opinion as the race has just begun for Santorum. He has merely jumped a major hurdle. He has yet to be run through the gauntlet of being properly vetted.
I like Santorum and prefer him as a counter to Romney. I would be pleased to have him as the nominee if Romney is not. But why? Because don’t know a darn thing about him! And this has been the problem with every surging candidate. They surge because some people are looking for anybody but Romney to be the nominee. When that person's flaws are finally brought to the forefront, the people soon realize that the candidate is not fit for the nomination. Such as it has been with Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Perry, Mr. Cain, and Mr. Gingrich. (Though, I wouldn't put Mr. Gingrich to bed yet.)
There is a strong ABR crowd out there. I don’t understand it. Romney is the real deal. He has the ability to run the marathon and finish first in Nov. 2012. What will be lost in the noise on Wed and throughout the week is that Romney won Iowa with just as strong a grassroots effort as Santorum. Romney spent the last three weeks of Dec. campaigning in Iowa, had a total of 5 staff members, and spent a not-insignificant amount of campaign cash, but not nearly as much as he did in 2008.
Why did Romney only get 30,015 votes this time around, only slightly more than in 2008 when he received 29,949? Well, I have my thoughts... Romney knows he will have to "Earn It".