Only in the United States of America

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sometimes it’s both crazy and funny how we elect our presidents. I’m not complaining because I think I prefer my country over any of the others. It’s just funny or crazy.

For instance, the Iowa Caucus which was held this Monday usually symbolizes the kick-off for our presidential elections. Iowa ranks 30th in the United States’ population rankings, but there is no doubt that it is much higher in the ranking of importance when considering presidential politics. Why? Because it’s the first state to weigh in on the candidates.

There is an irony involved with Iowa and the presidential election. It is hyped and built up in importance by the news networks, but, when one gets right down to the nitty-gritty, winning Iowa doesn’t mean all that much. Just ask this year’s has-beens: Rick Santorum (2012) or Mike Huckabee (2008).

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But, you could just as well ask Jimmy Carter (1976) and he would tell you differently. They say that Jimmy Carter put all of his eggs in the basket of the Iowa Caucuses way back then. Even though he was a Georgian, he “lived” in Iowa the year before the election, even staying in other people’s houses. Can you imagine Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton sleeping in your guest bedroom?

Here’s another funny or crazy thing about the presidential election that begins in this Midwestern state that is very blessed with cornfields and livestock. Think of the money that is spent in that state during the run-up to a Monday night gathering of neighbors.

That is really all the Iowa caucus is; a gathering of friends and neighbors in living rooms, middle school gymnasiums, small town city halls, and the like. They gather to “talk” about the candidates and, then, they take a vote.

The week or two before the caucus is like the Super Bowl to Des Moines. I read in an economic report that hotel rooms that usually rent for $200 per night suddenly zoom to $600 per night the week before the caucus. Of course, Iowans aren’t paying those prices. They’re no dummies.

It’s the national news organizations and television networks that have that kind of money. Plus, the candidates themselves and their staffs are spending some of those funds that you and I (probably not us, but people who donate to candidates) have sent their way.

After Monday night’s results were in, I read where one candidate got 2.8% of the vote and one delegate. According to a source that should know, his campaign super political action committee spent almost $15 million for his 5,000 votes. Let me do the calculating for you. That’s $2800 per vote and $15 million for one delegate. I think he will feel right at home with a $19 trillion deficit.

And who would you think spent the least? If you answered “the one with the most” you would be right. They say that The Donald is the tightest of the spenders. Maybe that’s because he is spending his own money. That always affects my spending!

One more thing that was funny. I read that in a few of the Democrat caucuses, there were disputes about the voting. Sanders’ folks felt slighted and the awarding of the delegates was up for an executive decision. The awarding of delegates is serious business so just how could it be done fairly?

Where there is a will there is a way so the heads got together and fell back on a time-honored way of making decisions. They flipped a coin. It just wasn’t Bernie’s night. Hillary won. Only in America!