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January 3rd, 2008
03:42 PM ET

Does $ talk in Iowa?

ALT TEXT

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.

Michael writes:
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.

Ted writes:
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.


Filed under: Elections • Iowa • Primaries
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. David of Natchez

    It means the dollar has bottomed out and they need to buy votes in foreign currency.

    January 3, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  2. ginger

    It means the American people are not as stupid and suseptible to propaganda as some with huge $$$ think we are.

    January 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  3. Terry OFlaherty

    Jack
    What is the old saying ? " money talks and B – – – S – – – walks " Money talks anywhere it doesnt have to be Iowa it can be Fargo ND. or Dover Del.

    January 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  4. Don p.

    maybe it'll mean they used their thinking cap! sorry, wishful thinking!

    January 3, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  5. Ed Reed

    I am sure that, with some candidates, the more you get to know them, the less you like them.

    January 3, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  6. Daniel

    Could that possibly mean that BS talks and money walks? Nah, could not be, that would mean that our Government is collapsing since Big Money talks, and the politicians bow down to Big Money.

    January 3, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  7. Ruby Coria

    Jack, well I guess we could say that money in this case does not talk, I think that it is a waste of money but it seems like that's all that Goverment does. Besides to me the people in Iowa care about religion, race, gender and just say your proud to be an American. That money wasted could had gone to buy some of those homes Brad Pitt is working on in New Orleans. I'm sure that canidate would've won every where else, forget about Iowhat?!

    January 3, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  8. Rich, McKinney Texas

    It does not say much really other then their campaign managers are probably morons. The average number of political flyers mailed to Caucus goers was between 5 and 9 a day. The average number of politician Television advertisements on Christmas day alone was 4 every 30 minutes in Iowa. You can only saturate someone so long and they will pull out an umbrella to keep from being pelted by the political rain redirect. It's kind of like beating a dead horse. Speaking of Dead horse's why the long face Hillary. Sorry, that isn't fair to the horse.

    January 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  9. Patricia

    As your title implies Jack, the saying goes, "All that glitters is not gold".... Works for me... Mitt & other more affluent candidates should have realized, they blown far too much money in Iowa & for what, some votes that won't count later??? They wasted their money...

    January 3, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  10. Neta

    Perhaps there is some hope for america, considering that the presidential elections are turning into a popularity pagaent of reckless and unfulfilled promises. Any minute now, one of the candidates will promise to implement world peace, end world hunger and poverty with a dazzling smile that could put Miss America to shame.

    January 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  11. suzie from atlanta, GA

    It says that when you have to drive out in the cold and snow, and stand up to vote, you are not going to be influenced by anything other than your own self interest. This caucus represents the purest form of Democracy. Decisions are made based on human contact, group contact, and it is amazing to see. The biggest influences are the party, the people you know, your life and the issues that impact you, and the actual words of the people running. And don't forget: they are not voting for the person running for office, but for the delegate going to the convention who is pledged for the first round of convention voting only.
    Money, TV ads, Blogs, all of that means nothing, and in fact, irritates the voters. These peole are really serious, they feel a great responsibility, because they are voting in public, and standing up for the Democracy they live in. That's why they go to these campaign events, and ask questions, real questions. If you have watched the campaign events, you have seen their faces. Especially in the smaller events because they get to discuss and comment, rather than sit in a dark room far from the stage. I think they actually have more respect for the second tier because it takes so much to run, so much effort, as opposed to just cash. Word of mouth is what matters, not huge bucks spent on TV. Good for them.

    January 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  12. Rick

    I think it's sickening how money plays such a big part
    in american politics. Money, and the candidates mainstream
    media choose to advertise...

    January 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  13. Dennis in Gwinn, MI

    They must be using CIA polling results....

    January 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  14. Britt

    Jack the question should be what kind of ego is required to spend fifty two million dollars to be president?

    January 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  15. Shane, CA

    I think it goes to show that people will determine who to vote for based more on debates, interviews, and statements from the candidate's campaign – not paid advertisements by candidates who tell you what they want you to hear.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  16. ken

    JACK,
    MAYBE AMERICANS HEAR MORE OF WHAT THE CANDIDATES ARE SAYING AND WHAT THEY HAVE SHOWN IN THE PAST THAN POLITICAL ADVISORS WANT TO BELIEVE. ALTHOUGH MONEY IS NECESSARY TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. MONEY CAN'T BUY EVERTHING.

    KEN
    VIRGINIA

    January 3, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  17. mike

    Too much importance is being placed on Iowa. The voters there are no better or worse then voters from all the other states.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Steve Millican

    It says that, in politics, MONEY TALKS, but in Iowa, voters don't always like what it has to say.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  19. HANS HOCHKAMP

    WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT THE IOWAN'S RELISH WHAT THE CANDIDATE STANDS FOR MORE THAN HOW MUCH MONEY HE /SHE SPENDS. THE RIGHT MESSAGE NEEDS LITTLE EXPLAINING WHEN IT HITS HOME AND COSTS LITTLE TO PUT FORTH.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Dicky Neely

    Money may be the mother's milk of politics but all the money in the world can't make a jerk seem not to be a jerk when you meet'em up close.
    Dicky Neely

    January 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  21. Paul Ribisl

    Jack,

    The answer: Money always buys politicians and makes deals....but it does not always buy voters.

    Keep up the good work as a straight shooter - love your blunt and critical cynicism which, sadly, is missing from other networks,

    Paul

    January 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  22. Michael Lund Ziegler

    It means that Iowans are reasonable people who's 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. Iowans want the best president, not the wealthiest president.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  23. Dustin Ingalls

    What does it say about the IA caucuses and their caucusgoers that money doesn't always crown kings there? 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.

    Dustin Ingalls
    Wake Forest, NC

    January 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  24. Judy

    Despite the stereotypical portrayal of "midwesterners as ignorant rubes", perhaps the fact that money doesn't buy the caucus shows that the good people of Iowa are far more contemplative and savvy than the media and coastal America is willing to credit.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  25. jim

    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.

    Jim Isenberg
    McDonough, Ga.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  26. Christian Maier

    What it means? It means that the people of Iowa are smart enough not to simply vote for the candidate who has the most, biggest and flashiest adds but actually think about what each candidate represents.
    If the one with the most money would always win then the elections would be unnecessary. You could instead simply count how much money each candidate has and the richest one becomes president. Not very democratic, isn't it?

    In my opinion it would be better if the candidates wouldn't be allowed to raise funds at all but instead every candidate no matter which party gets the same amount of money from the state for his campaign.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  27. Scott Key

    Jack,
    It just shows that iowans don't like to be bought . This is why Gov. Huckabee is doing so well. He is a honest man. Gov. Huckabee is from Hope, AR. like myself and having known Gov. Huckabee all my life I know he to be a honest man and this shows whenever he speaks. Iowa is embrassing his message and I only wish all the canidates would take note that what the american people want is an honest canidate and one who believes what he says and not just what each of them thinks we want to hear.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  28. Angela

    Re your question, as the Beatles would say;
    Can't buy me love
    Can't buy me love
    Can't buy me love, love
    $$$$$$$$$$$$ owwwwwwwwwwwwww

    January 3, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  29. Al Smith

    I am a strong edwards supporter and even though he hasent spent alot of money he gets his word out.It doesent matter so much how much you spend as long as you have a good campaign and get your word out.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  30. Thomas, SC

    I would say that it shows the Iowa voters are smart enough to research the issues for themselves... but the fact that the only two candidates who made illegal immigration a major part of their platform (Hunter and Tancredo) are non-factors pretty much defeats that assumption.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  31. Grant

    The fact that the candidate that spends the most money in Iowa doesn't always win tells the American people that maybe the system still works. Maybe it's time that larger states who complain that Iowa has such an advantage on deciding who the next president is need to realize that picking the president is about listening to the issues and choosing the candidate that you believe would do the best job. Not by seeing which candidate can flood the media with the most advertisements and large ground forces. If Americans are so concerned that only rich politicians can win the presidency maybe all Americans should start to research and vote on candidates the way the people of Iowa do, logically.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  32. Ted Minnard

    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.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  33. Jeff

    Jack,

    In order to understand results of elections you must address what gets votes. Votes are determined largely by media hype. Originally all of the news stations called Giuliani the frontrunner. When they do this and subsequently poll people who hear this, they will vote that way in the poll. The media pumped up Giuliani and is now pumping up Huckabee in Iowa and McCain in New Hampshire. Expect the media favorites to win

    January 3, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  34. Barb Clark

    Jack, I now understand how the process works, but no matter what, I cannot for the life of me understand : what's the point? All that money for what? I hope we are not so gullible as to think it will impress any other voters in the u.s. how to vote. AT least not here in Illinois. BArb

    January 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  35. jack andrews

    Good for Iowa,the best man should win,not the biggest bank account.P.S. Go Ron Paul. (The Best Man,Without a doubt)

    January 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  36. mike grosz

    Out of all the elected officials running for President, I would like to know who is minding the store at home? They have been running around the country for months and spending from thousands to millions on trying to get elected. Do they still get paid for being a Senator or a Congressmen or a Governor? Who is doing that work that they are getting paid for? They don’t have to punch a time card at home that’s for sure. They don’t have a boss to say, “hey why were you late to work today”. Just something to think about.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  37. Robert Wendel

    Jack,

    That the winner in Iowa is not always the biggest
    spender says that Iowans listen to the message, not
    how it's packaged. Unfortunately, since the Iowa
    caucus was established back in 1972, we've ended
    up with a series of Presidents who were "klunkers"
    at best, and outright disasters at worst. So maybe
    they tend to hear what they want to hear, rather than
    hearing what's really being said... or NOT said.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  38. Hugh Wallace

    though interesting on the amount the top contenders spend or have to spend, but not a word about 2nd tier candidates and because of lack of cash which may keep them from being front runners, I would be interested in what they spent, what they had to spend and the impact of media attention, or lack of it, on getting the messages across. When it comes to experience why don't you a side by side screen of the experiences of Dodd, Biden, Richardson, and Clinton, that would be informative and might help the public get a better handle on all the candidates just not the top 2 or 3., H.Wallace, Watervliet, New York

    January 3, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  39. Steve

    The fact that money spent doesn't translate into votes gives credibility to Iowans, being an important factor to the election. If this notion holds true for this caucus, it will present the skeptics with evidence that Iowans look at the candidates positions on the issues, rather than just the candidates. Also, if they want more credibility... Ron Paul needs to do well there.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  40. Diane Woods

    Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes it has, sometimes it hasn't . Heck if I know – y'all tell ME how it all comes out tonight. I don't live in Iowa as I don't like freezing off my behind. Not to mention some other things that I would most likely not really care for that are in Iowa – like not living near actual civilization. What the folks do in Iowa is up to them and their strange caucus system. Here, we just vote in primaries. Of course by the time we get to vote here, in March, it will most likely be all over but the balloons. I'll vote anyway to retain my right to complain but as a TX democrat, I know quite well that my vote has a slim or none chance of mattering in the primaries. And absolutely none in the general election. But I'll show up and vote anyway.

    Diane, Houston TX

    January 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  41. Taylor

    It says that people see through the constant barrage of advertisements and phone calls and signs. They see that the mainstream, big-money candidates are more of the same thing. They are sick of the same thing. They are ready for a Revolution - A Ron Paul Revolution.

    (Chattanooga, TN)

    January 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  42. Jessica

    This interesting bit of information should be a message to the candidates that says "the people of Iowa know that spending a lot of money doesn't change a thing." Money doesn't make one candidate better from another, it doesn't mean one is more intelligent or a better leader. Spending money, if anything, should actually make candidates lose votes. Who wants to vote for a person who has no problem throwing away millions of dollars just to make themselves look flashy and "important". I'd rather vote for the more humble candidate, the one who knows that he is a strong leader, the one that doesn't need money to stand out in the crowd (Mike Huckabee, for example.)

    January 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  43. Daniel Snider

    It says exactly what it seems to say. Real democracy isn't about money, ads, special interests, or talking points. It's about the people, lest we not we forget.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  44. Linda Wolff

    It says that not everybody is necessarily swayed by the amount of money a candidate spends, which to me is a very refreshing thought. Besides, I want John Edwards to win, so I hope this is, in fact, the case.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  45. Bob Colwell

    Promises,promises, promises. Thats all I hear from the canidates. NONE can come thru with them. The CONGRESS is who we should target. Clinton, couldn,t get universal health care and none of the others can either, It takes congress to do that. So go all the other promises, no matter how much money they spend to get elected.
    b

    January 3, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  46. Ed

    Iowa takes their caucuses seriously. Heavy canvassing could be an insult to them. As if to say they haven't sought out their candidate.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  47. Karen, Des Moines

    Jack, Iowans have a chance to meet and question all of the candidates in person over the course of a caucus campaign. They do not have to rely on tv ads and mailings – or even the gatekeepers in the media – to get their information. For that reason the candidate with the most money does not have as much of an advantage. It helps, but it is not the determining factor. A candidate with wheels and a good organization of volunteers on the ground can get to people directly. This has been an unusual caucus season in that the crowds, even for so-called 2nd-tier candidates, have been much larger than usual. This reduces the chance of the one-to-one contact Iowans have come to expect. I predict they will still choose the candidate they want without much outside influence. We take this very seriously. Our country is counting on us. By the way, I will be standing up for John Edwards. This is the night we start to take our country back! Tomorrow Begins Today!

    January 3, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  48. Bernard

    Caucuses do not mean anything because they do not represent the true demograph of the nation. They are just a waste of money. We should just limit ourselves to primary to choose the contenders. Also, our leaders should spend more time on governance and not on elections. They should be held to their election promises because these promises end like the new year's resolutions.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  49. Jon

    Jack – I think it shows us that every four years this small state, where about 6% of voters caucus, sets an example that all Americans should emulate.

    They get involved, ask tough questions of each candidate and, most importantly, they think critically and make up their own minds and attend caucuses fully prepared to explain why they support a particular candidate.

    Most Americans can't do that. They simply respond by providing the last one-liner they recently heard in an Ad.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  50. Don Cape Coral Fl

    The only winners in Iowa will be the farmers. They should have a bumper crop
    with all that manure being spread by all the candidates.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  51. Myke

    Jack,
    Plain and simple it means we don't care about their TV or radio ads. We want to meet the candidates eye-to-eye when they make their promises.

    Being first in the nation isn't all roses. It also means nonstop political ads. I was happy to see more non-poliitcal ads on TV today. I almost missed the Toyotathon and it was nice to be remined that I can , "Save big money at Menards."

    January 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  52. Denis

    Jack, "we the people" are sick and tired of "journalists" trying to tell us who we have to vote for. Iowa and New Hampshire get hyped so much by the press that it's not wonder the primary calendar is so bunched up this year. You guys just can't resist making your pronouncements r.e. what YOU think is important. I realize that old-fashioned reporting (you know, the kind they did back when there was no CNN or other 24 hour cable networks) like the country USED to get that was actually helpful in evaluating and comparing candidates is work, but most "journalists" are far too lazy in the modern era. Poor babies – you just can't understand why "we the people" don't just sit back and let you sit around the table and pontificate on "process" or about how "there just isn't enough time" to fully explore and compare candidates positions on issues. If you had YOUR way we wouldn't even bother with elections. Instead, from your "hallowed journalistic halls" you'd simply be able to tell us simple folks out in the country to shut up and vote for who YOU say is "best" – based on all the superficial crap, or rather criteria YOU think is important like "who spends the most money", or who is getting pricey haircuts, etc.

    "We the people" deserve a helluva lot better than your "profession" is giving us. No wonder politicians lie and mislead so easily – it's not like "journalists" will harp on the important stuff and keep them honest. You guys wear out your arms patting yourselves on the back for once a week or so running some "keeping them honest" piece. Give me a break. My old high school pal Jim Prather who is well up in the media food chain doesn't even respond to me any more when I point all this out.

    Bottom line – if "journlists" would be honest with themselves, you wouldn't have to ask the question that prompted this rant.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  53. Mr. R.B., New Jersey

    Individuals who will participate and have participated in the Iowa caucuses have a much greater incentive to look into the policies of the candidates they support. The caucuses require the men and women who attend to have a thorough knowledge of the candidates they support. Iowans are not as greatly affected by ads since they already have a thorough understanding of where most candidates stand.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  54. Cher Gardner

    One must understand the workings of a caucus in order to answer this question. It is in this scenario that one is persuaded by tongue, gender, friendship, guilt, etc. at the very moment of decision making. If, at the first shot, one chooses "wrongly" (with less than 15% of agreement), that person is at the mercy of popular persuasion. The white noise of commercials, the thumping of adrenaline pumping music, and neatly coifed and determined eyes of presidential hopefuls have not an ounce substance. The substance rests in the very room one stands, shoulder to shoulder with neighbor, brother, and friend.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  55. Bob Sawyer

    Jack,
    In response to your recent question, all the funds spent in Iowa by the presidential hopefuls simply suggests a fool and his/her money are soon parted!

    Bob, Maryville, MO

    January 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  56. Gordon Linge

    This is why Iowa should be first in the nation!

    The things that regularly work elsewhere do not necessarily work in Iowa.

    You can make jokes about Iowans for three years and 11 months, but for this one month they have the upper hand.

    Iowans want to see the candidates up close and the political junkies are very well informed and deep thinkers. So stop trying to predict how they will vote.... let them savor their unique power play.

    [I grew up in Storm Lake].

    G. of New Orleans

    January 3, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  57. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    American politics is truly fascinating and nowhere moreso than Iowa.I've been watching this religiously every four years.Iowa now appears to be influenced by reverse psychology-techniques.The candidates who are most popular nationally spend the most, but are being trumped by those who are not nationally popular ,i.e. who do not spend a lot.And this year,those underdogs,Obama being the big winner here,have essentially asked Iowa to go against the grain,so to speak.The odd thing about reverse psychology is that the truly slick guys can con you.

    January 3, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  58. Barbara Pepper

    Money always counts. But the Iowa Caucus spending is certainly not much more than a diversion considering what is being squandered in Iraq. Don't voters care what happens to their tax dollar?

    January 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  59. Alex

    For someone like Romney, who has a much larger support base in Iowa than someone like Huckabee, it is disappointing to not see him in the lead if you are a supporter of Romney's. Not shocking though, evangelicals in Iowa are not the type of people bought by money, neither are priests or protestant ministers anywhere. They are interested in a man's character, and it shows because Huckabee, though being outspent 20 to 1 by Romney, is still ahead and is clearly the favorite to win tonight's caucus. This isn't aristocracy politics anymore. This is the rise of a new political system, one in which the average person has a say in their democracy, the way it should be. Finally, the Republicans have a found a candidate who they can say will be the most adamant to reach across the aisle, because apparently Huckabee is a man who is very popular among democrats. The point is, Iowa is the start of a new political movement, and the person who raises the most money does not win. It is the man who raises the level of dialogue and character in a race that will now succeed.

    January 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  60. david richardson

    What kind of democratic exercise excludes half of the on-duty firefighters, police officers, restaurant and hotel workers, convienence store workers...THE REAL PEOPLE...etc. from participating? Exclusionist democracy. Crazy.

    January 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  61. Lee

    So we're worried about the amount of money spent in Iowa, huh? Let me ask another question. Considering that the number of caucus goers in 2004 numbered 125,000 in a state of 3 million located in a country of 300 million, is it fair that Iowa holds so much power in our presidential nominating process? Personally I don't think so. The sound you hear is our democracy crumbling.

    January 3, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  62. Rich, McKinney Texas

    Considering that most of Iowa is farming apparently they know manure when they see it and are not buying into it no matter how hard the big spenders are trying to shove it down their throats. A 5 dollar chicken does not lay any better tasting egg then a 25 dollar chicken they just cost more. Simple farm logic. You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Sorry Hillary had to throw that one in. Need I go on?.....

    January 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  63. Ken KS

    The best candidate to lead our country and clean up (or try to clean up) the Bush/Cheney disaster is not running. That person doesn't have the money or the ability to B- S- voters, so he or she is not running or able to run.

    What angers me is that these big shot Washington insiders are coming to the Midwest, in this specific case Iowa, and trying to bamboozle them into thinking they are going to represent them. Like many Americans from the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, they can see through the arrogance and the B- S- they are trying to spread. Too bad the weather is too cold in Iowa right now. The manure is free for the farmers to use in their fields, at the expense of these money machine politicians. However, winter is hot the time to fertilize the fields.

    Maybe Lou Dobbs and Jack Cafferty will reconsider and run for President and Vice President, leadership for a change, What a concept!!!

    January 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  64. Ted Minnard

    Hillary finishinig dead last would be appropriate. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. Is this the best America has to offer to face the rest of the world? 30 years of these two families is a disgusting prospect and a clear indictment of the electoral process and its demise by big spenders and special interests. The election cycle this time around can irrevocovably return power back to the voters. And the politicians know it, and are shaking in their boots...and thats a good sign for our Republic. Keep up the good work America!

    January 3, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  65. Paula

    Jack, I am offended with your comments regarding Hillary.
    Honestly, I thought you were a better person that what you put forth.
    Is that you are sexist or?
    I hope not.
    Hopefully, the next time you have a comment you will be more thoughtful, actually more honest.
    Hillary is a good person, has done very good things for this Country
    Too, I believe like you and me, she is not perfect ... regardless, she did not/ does not deserve such an ugly comment.
    I don't need an apology ... but I certainly believe that Hillary does.
    Be a "big" person, send one to me and her

    January 3, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  66. Gordon Cole

    It means that Iowas have a degree of integrity. While it certainly helps to get in front of the camera, it also helps a candidate to be what voters actually want. Candidates with integrity and welcome platform will do well in Iowa. Thats why you'll see Hillary Clinton stumble and Ron Paul come through to upset the "media chosen" candidates.

    January 3, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  67. Robin

    Mike Huckaby is constantly portrayed as the evangelical candidate. I am agnostic so his evangelical side is anything but appealing. However, he's my choice because of his clear intelligence, ability to see the big picture, and his comfortable ability to connect to the people. These qualities are essential to calming and unifying the nation, and in healing our relationships around the world. No amount of money can substitute for that. Mitt Romney's money and his arrogance regarding his elevation in life pales in comparison to Huckaby's smarts, vision, and humility. I wish the press would get past his evangelical association because he is an amazing candidate in spite of it. By the way, I am a Democrat.

    January 3, 2008 at 9:27 pm |
  68. Albert H Lawler

    Hello Jack,

    I recently did a poll of my own, among my coworkers. After ascertaining who they had planned on supporting for President of the united States, I then followed up with the following question: Why?; tell me one accomplishment that their choice for President has achieved that garners their support?

    The Clinton supporter simply stated that she was ready for a woman to be President. Nothing else, she could state no accomplishments.

    The two Obama supporters claimed that they support him because he is African American. Nothing else, they could state no specific accomplishments.

    The Ron Paul supporter stated that he wants to abolish the IRS and the income tax, end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home from not only Iraq and Afghanistan but also as many countries as he can overseas, he wants to end the interventionist foreign policy that we have today, repeal the Patriot Act, eliminate the wasteful departments of Education and Homeland Security, uphold and restore the constitution and return our liberties as Americans. The Paul supporter also pointed out that his voting record over ten terms as a congressman backs all of these positions among many other upon which he campaigns. The Ron Paul supporter was me.

    Regards,
    Albert H. Lawler
    Manassas VA

    January 3, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  69. Jim Jensen

    Certainly Hillary Clinton dumped a ton of money into her Iowa campaign and only managed third place in the Democratic vote. John Edwards has little to spend and still managed second place only about 7 points behind Obama, who spent a lot of money. Mitt Romney is so rich he can finance his own election and he was soundly beaten by Mike Huckabee who had little money to spend. Even Ron Paul managed 10% of the Republican vote, while more organized candidates, with a lot more media coverage and more money, only beat out Ron Paul by a couple of percentage points. This tells me that the voters in Iowa took the time to research the candidates and voted for who they thought was best regardless of how much any individual candidate spent on their campaign there. That gives me hope that Americans have quit being so apathetic about who is running the country and how it is being run, and they have actually researched the candidates and made a choice.

    January 4, 2008 at 12:25 am |
  70. Judy Fralia-Mantello

    Jack, (Thursday night, 9:30pm pacific time)

    I am a democrat and I can not believe that Democrats in Iowa allow such a caucus that lets Republicans and Independents come in, register as a Democratic for the night, and allow them to vote. It is clear to me that Hillary Clinton was sabotaged! The Democrats are cutting their own throats on this one, especially when there are more Independents in Iowa then Democrats or Republicans!

    And although Iowa apparently doesn't think experience is important, had better change their tune come November. Just remember all the experience of George W. Bush! Experience matters, at every level.

    This Caucus system is nothing but a game and the Democrat and Republican candidates that won in Iowa, I feel, will not be the ones representing their parties in November. Amen to that.

    Judy Fralia-Mantello
    Beaverton, Oregon

    January 4, 2008 at 12:26 am |
  71. Patty

    The winners in both parties have spent less than their opponents, which tells me that the people of America have had it with the status quo, and are able to research and make up their own minds, instead of going with the talking heads, for a change. It seems the Dems do not want to perpetuate the Clinton Dynasty. And:

    It's about time that we had a revolt which says to the Rockefeller faction of the Republican Party: We are tired of our elected representatives selling us out, we want them to hear our wishes, not those of the corporatocracy that has run the show for far too long.
    Those folks, along with their dem. counterparts, have just about destroyed the identity, sovereignty, and ideals of this country. (Not to mention the value of the dollar).

    PATTY

    January 4, 2008 at 1:53 am |
  72. abram epstein

    Jack, please ask this question: What should or can Hillary do to convince us she would make a great President?
    And, permit me to answer: Hugely important, she should talk about the American Neo-Con mentality as a dangerous misstep in setting an example of how to govern. Hillary, one hopes, realizes that imposing our views, values and even our faith in democracy on others is an arrogance that risks losing friendship and alliance among the nations whose own societies are not above our sanctimonious reprimand.
    We who love democracy cannot vouchsafe its value by imposing it on others. That is dictatorship–albeit on the stage of nations. As we have seen, it leads to war and disintegration of our own democracy. You can't be a dictator in the name of democracy.

    Abram Epstein, New York City

    January 6, 2008 at 11:03 am |