Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hawkeye State Shakedown

Today marks the quadrennial shakedown in Ames, Iowa of GOP Presidential hopefuls, the Iowa Straw Poll.

[I]t's a quadrennial effort by the state Republican Party to bring the GOP candidates into the state to compete in a poll that has nothing to do with delegates but a lot to do with headlines and publicity. It also says something about a candidate's organizational ability to get his or her supporters to turn out and take part in the poll. But in addition to all that, it's a fundraising gimmick by the Iowa GOP. To participate, each person must pay $35. It makes a lot of money for the Iowa Republican Party.

As much of a boondoggle it would seem to be on the surface, it at least allows candidates a chance to preen a bit, and to be dealt a bit of free publicity should they win (whether or not that free publicity offsets all the damn pork sandwiches they had to buy is another matter), but as a precursor as to who'll actually win the nomination or the presidency....well, not so much. But anytime GOPers get the shakedown, I'm cool with that.