Uh oh! Ever since numbers started to show Ron Paul usurping Newt Gingrich's exalted space atop the Iowa polls, panic has started to descend upon the good people of the Hawkeye State. Can you imagine if a crazy insane crazy nutjob like Paul actually beat serious utterly non-embarrassing stately statesmen like Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. That'd be embarrassing, huh?
Conservatives and Republican elites in [Iowa] are divided over who to support for the GOP nomination, but they almost uniformly express concern over the prospect that Ron Paul and his army of activist supporters may capture the state’s 2012 nominating contest — an outcome many fear would do irreparable harm to the future role of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.
And just think how mortifying it would be for Mike Huckabee. It could really make people rethink the value of his huge win four years ago and potentially create an alternate reality in which he isn't even president! (And, on a related note, just think what that could mean for Vice President James Dobson.)
Paul poses an existential threat to the state’s cherished kick-off status, say these Republicans, because he has little chance to win the GOP nomination and would offer the best evidence yet that the caucuses reward candidates who are unrepresentative of the broader party.
"It would make the caucuses mostly irrelevant if not entirely irrelevant," said Becky Beach, a longtime Iowa Republican who helped Presidents Bush 41 and Bush 43 here.
Seems like the choice is clear. It's really the only thing they can do if they want to be certain to maintain the integrity of Iowa's reputation as a crucial predictive poll of presidential nominees. They have to wait until a bunch of the other primaries have taken place and gotten the bugs out of the system. Then, once all the confusion has dissipated and there's an obvious party choice, Iowa can swing in, choose that candidate and then bask in the glow of its untarnished reputation.
Why do I have to come up with all the good ideas?
Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Mike Huckabee, Primaries, Republicans, Ron Paul