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Enough with the ‘It’s Iowa or bust’ talk

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POSTED January 6, 2012 12:27 a.m.

To the Republican voters in the other 49 states, I sympathize with you. It must be painful to turn on every cable and broadcast network, read the websites and follow the blogs and realize that you mean absolutely nothing when it comes to choosing a GOP nominee for President of the United States. Please, just don’t even bother. Iowa has it all under control, and what happens there, and in New Hampshire, will settle the race once and for all.

What a load of animal droppings covering the Iowa farm fields.

Convention wisdom, which really means the opinions of the smart, politically savvy know-it-all sages in Washington, D.C., means that if you don’t win Iowa or place high there, you won’t be able to raise the money to continue and that you might as well go home and lick your wounds.

Remember when that was the talk in 2008 after then-Sen. Barack Obama won Iowa? The political elites said if he beat Sen. Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, the race was over. A lot of voters in the Granite State were offended to hear that — especially women — and backed Clinton. As a result, those two fought it out for another five months in a grueling race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It has always offended me that voters in the other states have always been seen as also-rans. And that’s the primary reason why Michigan, Florida, Nevada and South Carolina threatened or successfully moved their primaries and caucuses; they wanted to matter and not just accept what Iowa and New Hampshire gave them.

The notion of dropping out of the race based on what happened in Iowa Tuesday night should not have entered the mind of any GOP candidate. Why end it after one state? I bet former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty regrets dropping out after the Ames, Iowa, Straw Poll, won by Rep. Michelle Bachman. In fact, I tweeted that it would be dumb for anyone to drop out.

Was he having money issues? Sure. But so did Bachman, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. The latter two vaulted to the top of the polls based on debate performances. See, it paid to keep going.

Now I doubt Mitt Romney or Rep. Ron Paul will slip up after tomorrow night, but no one knows for sure. We’ve seen a lot of crazy things happen in this race so far. So we might as well be prepared for the unpredictable.

In fact, I find it hilarious that so many folks in the chattering class say it’s all about Iowa, and Romney turns into the Dominator if he wins; yet if Paul wins, the results don’t matter. Really?

So excuse me if I sound like a contrarian by refusing to buy the media hype of putting so much on Iowa. It’s one of 50 states. It’s the first, sure. But it sure as hell shouldn’t be the last, or even next to last, for the all of the candidates.

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