As a native of Iowa, Im proud of the common sense displayed by my former compatriots. Iowans (even Teapublican Iowans) tend to be well-educated, relatively well-informed, and compassionate. Despite the media pundits who decry the role that Iowa plays in our national electoral process, I believe Iowa is the perfect place to begin presidential campaigns.
For one thing, Iowa does not lean overwhelmingly to one side of the political spectrum or the other. (Its neither a red nor a blue state. Its a red, white and blue state.) The Iowa caucus system is like old-time politics forcing candidates to face voters, often one-on-one. Iowans are generally unafraid to ask questions and speak their minds. And, except for the far right wing zealots and so-called Christian conservatives, Iowans tend to be skeptical of campaign promises (remember, Iowa is next-door to the Show Me state).
All of this sharpens candidates and weeds out the worst nimrods. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are prime examples.
Despite her Iowa roots, Iowans refused to vote for Bachmann and her wackadoodle politics, forcing her to suspend her campaign. Despite spending millions in Iowa, Rick Perry garnered so little interest he giddyupped back to Texas to reassess his campaign. And one-time GOP front-runner, the ethically-challenged Newt Gingrich, left Iowa with his massive ego bruised and his campaign on life support.
My only real disappointment with the Iowa caucuses is the inexplicable elevation of Rick Santorum to co-front-runner status. But I guess the Christian conservatives needed to annoint someone as their new political savior.