Above: Mitt to Iowa: "Because the country counts on you."
- Mitt in Iowa: Still the front-runner, barely - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial
Mitt Romney did not win the Iowa Republican caucuses by much, just a few delegate votes. But he didn’t lose them, either. He remains the front-runner and the best hope for a credible GOP candidate to challenge Barack Obama in November. That’s the good news out of Iowa.
Utah’s other favorite son, Jon Huntsman, the other best hope for GOP realists, barely registered a blip in Iowa, but that was expected. He did not campaign there, having placed all his eggs in New Hampshire’s basket.
The other good news is that one of the fringe candidates, Michele Bachmann, has dropped out of the race following her poor showing in Iowa. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Rick Santorum, who surged in Iowa and came within a few delegate votes of Romney.
Santorum is now the flavor of the month in the anyone-but-Mitt camp of the evangelical right. We believe, however, that his surge will be short-lived. His moment in the sun will focus public attention on his extreme social positions and voting record in the U.S. Senate, which caused Pennsylvanians to punch his ticket home in 2006. He is likely to wither under this scrutiny.
The other winner in Iowa, Ron Paul, is an interesting phenom. ... While many Americans may identify with Paul’s isolationist foreign policy, his exotic proposals to slash the federal budget by $1 trillion in his first year in office, cripple the Federal Reserve and promote alternative currencies, among others, should put moderate voters off.
Which brings us back to Mitt Romney. The search within the GOP for a fire-breathing evangelical or an austerity extremist who would burn the country down along with the federal budget may play to elements of the party’s faithful, but it will not produce a candidate who can challenge Obama in the minds of the larger electorate. Romney, or Huntsman, by contrast, both could.
One other note on Iowa. Attack ads financed by super pacs and other unaccountable groups played a large role late. This does not bode well for the nation’s politics.
- The Iowa effect — it's Santorum's turn - Jay Evensen, The Deseret News
... A few weeks ago Mitt Romney wasn't expected to do well in Iowa, but his 8-vote victory Tuesday night was less of a story than Rick Santorum's rise out of nowhere to finish second. ...
- Give Romney a fair shake - Vincent Carroll, The Denver Post
... But would Romney really be such a dreadful consolation prize for those who wish to reverse the spending and regulatory surges of the past few years and who believe that pro-growth policies are desperately needed? ...
- Who will gain speed from Iowa? - Arizona Republic Editorial
... For Arizona voters, the prospects for influencing the nomination in the primary on Feb. 28 now depend on factors that are difficult to discern, like momentum: Who has it? Who is losing it? Who has any real chance of getting it back? ...
- Ron Paul’s consistency doesn’t make him right - Leonard Pitts Jr., The Miami Herald
... Maybe, it’s easy to make freedom an issue of "property rights" when you have never been the property. ...
- As the I'm not Romney field narrows, so will his lead - Mark Landsbaum, The Orange County Register
... The outcome ended the campaign of Michele Bachmann, bringing to an end news writers’ difficulty remembering how many L’s and M’s are in her name. ...
- Suddenly, a fun candidate - George Will, The Washington Post
... Republicans, supposedly hierarchical, actually are — let us say the worst — human. They crave fun. Supporting Mitt Romney still seems to many like a duty, the responsible thing to do. Suddenly, supporting Santorum seems like a lark, partly because a week or so ago he could quit complaining about media neglect and start having fun, which is infectious. ...
- Iowa caucuses - New York Times Editorial
... The only good news in this primary season is that the more Americans listen to the Republican hopefuls, the more the voters will realize how out of touch these candidates are with the majority of Americans.
- Iowa has done it's job for another four years - Des Moines Register Editorial
... Again this year, Iowa approached its first-in-the-nation caucuses with a seriousness of purpose. That is something to be proud of. It is something the entire country should appreciate. We look forward to doing it again in four years.
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