With the Iowa caucus only a week away, the race for the first batch of delegates to the Republican convention is awaiting the sound of the starter's pistol.
It's fortunate, then, that the pistol will not be in the hands of any of the Republican candidates, since their ability to tell the metaphor from the reality seems to be in short supply these days.
Newt Gingrich, the thrice-married Family Values candidate, received some bad news recently when he was informed that he had not collected enough signatures to be placed on the ballot in the state of Virginia. The campaign had this to say about that:
By now you’ve likely heard that our effort to gain access to the primary ballot in Virginia was not successful. This was not due to a lack of effort by our volunteers, but the cumbersome process in Virginia.
We are exploring alternate methods to compete in Virginia – stay tuned.
Going forward, we will be as in-front of the process as possible and with the help of our grassroots volunteers we will make all other deadlines.
Newt and I have talked three or four times today and he stated that this is not catastrophic – we will continue to learn and grow. Remember that it was only a few months ago that pundits and the press declared us dead after the paid consultants left. They declared that the decision not to compete in the Ames Straw Poll would mean that Iowans would ignore us. Some will again state that this is fatal.
Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action. Throughout the next months there will be ups and downs; there will be successes and failures; there will be easy victories and difficult days – but in the end we will stand victorious.
To help achieve that outcome we each need to spend the next 24 hours enjoying our families and friends as much as possible. Enjoy their company. Be grateful for them. Gather strength from them. The promise of a better future for our family and friends is the reason we are committed to rebuilding the America we love.
May the spirit of the season fill each of you. Merry Christmas.
National Campaign Director
|"Oh, the humanity!"|
Not that things are going a lot better in Iowa of late--Gingrich's standing in the polls, which reached a high of 31% as recently as Dec. 13, has currently sunk to 14.7%, and the former House speaker now trails both Ron Paul (22.3%) and Mitt Romney (21%). If Gingrich is to lose this important opening battle for the 2012 nomination, it may well spell Dien Bien Phu for his campaign.
Ron Paul, meanwhile, has been attempting to deal with the fallout from some incendiary remarks in a pair of newsletters, the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report, specifically a series of racist statements made mostly between 1989 and 1994. Among these was the observation that black criminals are particularly problematic given their ability to run really fast. Paul, as he did in 2008, is claiming to have no idea who wrote those newsletters; unfortunately, he either hadn't come up with this excuse as yet in the mid 1990's or no one informed him about the invention of videotape.
There was also an interview with the Dallas Morning News in 1996, in which he not only failed to deny authorship, but added "If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them."
Well, maybe you could distract them with a watermelon, Dr. Paul.
Meanwhile, former front-runner and current Texas governor Rick Perry went for the sports analogy, declaring himself "the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses." Since he's currently lagging in fourth place in both Iowa and national polls, Perry is obviously looking for a miracle comeback; aligning himself with a well-known sports figure would seem to be a good bet to gain some ground fast.
Or not. Tebow threw four interceptions in a 40-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. Somebody should tell Rick Perry about Aaron Rodgers. A fourth-place showing in Iowa could pretty well druckenmiller the whole campaign.