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Posted August 12, 2011
GOP’s “Woodstock” Will Heat Up Bachmann Spotlight

I’ve always thought there was a weird cultural incongruence in the way the two Iowa parties showcase their presidential candidates.  Democrats use the very dignified Jefferson-Jackson dinner, which features great stage lighting, video and interminable podium speeches in succession.  People who are usually comfortable in Carhartts throw on a suit just to ‘come down and hear the speakin,’ as LBJ would have said.  In our defense, there is an auction.  That’s pretty Iowan. 

While Iowa Democrats get gussied up, the Republicans just plain get down. The Ames straw poll is a quadrennial easing of conservative angst at not having had their own Woodstock, Glenn Beck’s efforts to restore honor notwithstanding.  The parts that aren’t ripped directly from the Iowa State Fair resemble nothing more than a state-school fraternity rush with bunting.  In other words, my kinda deal.  So jealous the other side gets to have all the overhyped, outdoor, sweaty fun!!

I’ve been making predictions all year as one of the Iowa writers, left, right and middle, who contribute to the Caucus Power Rankings over at the online paper Iowa Independent (www.iowaindependent.com).  However, the most recent ranking opportunity over there came at the end of July, and predated the news that TX-Gov Rick Perry was getting in and Sarah Palin was going to try and fit in at the Iowa State Fair (I like the over-under on that).

So, here we are just about 24 hours out from the actual voting of the actual Iowa Republicans, and I thought I would play crystal ball reader one last time for my loyal readers.  As I said in a post last night, the debate did little to change the dynamics of the pre-straw-poll race, from my perspective.   

And here’s your order of finish tomorrow, with a few words about each campaign:

  1. Bachmann – Early entry, Iowa roots, passionate and uncompromising style = win.
  2. Paul – Makes use of leftover cult-like following from ‘08, puts laser focus on the event
  3. Perry – don’t discount early groundwork of his PAC and buzz from Sat. announcement.
  4. Romney – He’s Mr. Establishment, that will make a solid showing even without him here.
  5. Pawlenty – Its like talking to your brother who’s in jail. You just wish he was out.
  6. Cain – can you bribe strawpoll goers with great pizza? It’s the American way, people.
  7. Gingrich – this is the serious guy we all say we want in the race . . . but not really.
  8. Palin – sheer cult of personality effect will produce some write-ins, but nothing shocking.
  9. Santorum – the hardest of the hardcore social issue conservatives.   Beatify this dude.

  Now you have no need to watch the endless dissection of the all-important Ames Straw Poll.  You’re welcome.

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