FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Money can buy a lot of things, especially when it comes to politics... but the Iowa caucuses may not be one of them.
The Los Angeles Times reports today that although the presidential contenders have poured tens of millions of dollars into the contest there, history shows that the candidate who spends the most in Iowa doesn't always win.
We don't know exactly how much candidates have spent in Iowa this year. But we do know this: both Mike Huckabee and John Edwards are threatening to win Iowa despite being overwhelmingly outspent by their opponents. For example, Republican Mitt Romney spent about $52 million running for president through September of last year, much of it in Iowa. During that same period, Huckabee spent $1.7 million.
On the Democratic side, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have reportedly spent about $20 million each in Iowa, compared to about $4 million for Edwards.
For years ago, Howard Dean outspent both John Kerry and John Edwards before Iowa, and we all know what happened to Dean. In 1988, Pat Robertson outspent several other Republicans in the running, but failed to win Iowa.
Here’s my question to you: What does it say about the Iowa caucuses that candidates who spend the most money don’t necessarily win there?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jim from McDonough, Georgia writes:
Iowa is the one of the best examples of 'retail politics’. Money can be trumped by candidate access. The people in Iowa get to see and touch the candidates over a fairly long period of time. This allows them to "kick the tires" and make an intelligent choice. Thank goodness that the Big Money Machine that is now politics at least gets derailed once in a while in a place like Iowa.
Del from Austin, Texas writes:
Jack, Since money doesn't seem to make a difference in Iowa, something we all abhor in elections, I think we should just let them nominate our party's candidates and be done with it. It appears they take the time and make the effort to become informed, something the rest of us don't.
It means that Iowans are reasonable people whose thoughts and opinions can't be bought. They care about the issues, not about how much money a candidate can throw into essentially meaningless television ads that talk more about the other guy than what that candidate actually stands for.
Dustin from Wake Forest, North Carolina writes:
It says that Iowa voters are smart and committed to learning about the candidates, that they get together with their neighbors and collectively and publicly decide who they will recommend to the rest of the nation. It's a great democratic model in line with the founders' vision.
Les from Clive, Iowa writes:
It means we decide as caucus-goers. Not the money spent or the polls conducted.
It proves beyond a reasonable doubt that politicians are under the impression that the voters are dumb and they can buy their votes, just as their votes are bought by big money contributors. Hillary doesn't get it, neither does Romney. John Edwards gets it, so does Ron Paul.
Maybe Jack will read yours tomorrow.