Bob Franken


August 13, 2007
Straws in the Wind (Bob Franken)
@ 10:25 am

The Iowa Straw Poll has the impact it does for one really good reason: It takes place in August, when usually not a damned thing is going on. In other words, we’re bored.

That explains why this Best Election That Money Can Buy gets the front-page newspaper and breathless TV coverage it does.

It’s not that it was completely devoid of significance. For Tommy Thompson, all the eggs he put into the Iowa basket broke. To really torture this breakfast description, he’s toast. And he’s gone, leaving the Thompson slot in the campaign waiting to be claimed by Jeri Thompson’s husband.

And Mike Huckabee is no longer such a wannabe. He ran best among the also-rans, and proved that you can’t dismiss a politician just because he’s only a governor of Arkansas. Who knew?

It looks like he and Sam Brownback are going to compete for the votes that come from the base of the GOP. Unless, of course, Mitt Romney continues with his strategy of touching all the bases at one time or another.

Unlike that other Field of Dreams, carved out of the Iowa cornfield, when they built this one in the Straw the players did NOT all come. Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, Gingrich and God knows who else decided to forfeit this exhibition game and wait for when the regular season begins in January, unless of course it begins in December.

We can take at least three lessons from this:

1) Mitt Romney is the new champion straw man; and

2) No metaphor is too shameless.

Yes, I know, I said three lessons. But hey: It’s politics. I exaggerated.

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