OK, Gravel is clearly not running for President, and as such it is time to cut him out of the debates. If he won’t take his own campaign seriously, it is time to stop giving him a free stage from which to talk to the country. Kucinich isn’t much better. I am impressed with the energy that Dodd (and, to a lesser extent, Biden) appears to be throwing at the campaign, even if it hasn’t produced any results yet.
Also, any notion that 2008 will be different, and that states other than Iowa and New Hampshire (though mainly Iowa) will have a major impact on the race, appears to be contradicted by the campaigns themselves. Every candidate who is running hard has made more trips to Iowa than even to New Hampshire. As such, I don’t take speculation that Iowa will allow New Hampshire to move in front of it very seriously.
Republican Candidate Trips To Early States
The low numbers for Giuliani really stick out. I mean, for someone without a job, Giuliani is kind of lazy, isn’t he? This is the most convincing evidence I have seen yet that Giuliani will not win the Republican nomination. He simply is not campaigning very hard, and Romney is running him into the ground. I think the real reason Giuliani opted out of the Ames straw poll this Saturday is because he knew that he would have been crushed. Even with that aside, he would have actually had to (horrors) engage in retail politics.
The Ron Paul numbers also stick out on the Republican side. Like Gravel, he is not running a serious campaign. Even if I was predisposed to Paul’s message, which I absolutely am not, simply as a matter of self-respect I could never support a candidate who did not take his or her own campaign seriously. I think I have given more than 24 out of state speeches so far in 2007. Hell, I gave five last weekend alone. What a waste of time this sideshow is.
And, obviously, the other thing that sticks out on the Republican side is what an incredible racket the Ames straw poll is. Brownback, Huckabee and Tommy Thompson have made a combined 358 trips to Iowa this year in order to convince a few thousand people to come to a barbaque with them. Their pathetic results are a combined 5.7% support among Iowa Republicans, which is less than Obama’s 6.7% support among Iowa Republicans. I don’t know how it happened, but in an odd twist of quantum mechanics the wingnut base somehow appears to have become smaller than itself.