Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Eugene Robinson: The straw poll winner -- Barack Obama
Even though President Obama's approval rating has dropped below 40%, Eugene Robinson believes that with Michelle Bachman winning the Iowa straw poll, saneness in the person of Obama will win out. Surely, White Christian Nationalism will not become the ruling politics because it is so extreme. Recall, Michelle Bachman was among those who opposed raising of the debt ceiling. Eugene Robinson assures us America is not that crazy. RGN
The straw poll winner: Barack Obama
By Eugene Robinson, Published: August 15
Strolling through the pageant of unhealthful food and unsound ideology that is the Iowa straw poll, amid the good-natured Republicans who swept Michele Bachmann to an impressive victory, I couldn’t help but reflect that this quadrennial exercise is one crazy way to pick a major-party candidate for president.
You’ll note that I used the words “Michele Bachmann” and “president” in the same sentence. That someone with views as extreme as Bachmann’s could win — and that Ron Paul, who seems to inhabit his own little reality, could finish second — would seem to rob the straw poll of all but comic value, making it analogous to the opening joke a speaker might tell to warm up a stone-faced audience. But the ritual is serious business, as poor Tim Pawlenty found out. Less than 24 hours after he finished a distant third in the straw poll, “former candidate” became his new honorific.
Long before the results were tallied, it seemed clear that Pawlenty was in trouble. Like the other candidates who participated Saturday, he had a big tent on the grounds of the Iowa State University coliseum where voters could enjoy free food and entertainment. People were happy to line up for the Famous Dave’s barbecue that Pawlenty was serving, but they didn’t stay long — and when they walked away, they weren’t wearing the green Pawlenty T-shirts that signaled support. By mid-afternoon, volunteers were glum.