So, here’s a perfect example of why all this crazy, year-in-advance horse-race analysis is both so silly and so arbitrary: Last week (or was it two weeks ago? — I forget), Mike Huckabee finished a fairly distant second in a pay-to-play caucus competition in small-state Iowa, yet he garners all sorts of attention for it and is proclaimed the newest guy with “momentum,” etc. Yesterday, Duncan Hunter wins a HUGE (percentage-wise) victory in caucuses in mega-state Texas, leaving everybody else way in his dust in voting by the most stalwart party activists (those who were delegates to previous state or national conventions), and he barely gets any attention, much less credit, for it. This is just crazy.
Let’s compare Huck with Hunter. Both have done consistently well in debates so far. Huck is a former governor of a small state, where he did some good things with roads and schools but was neither a fiscal conservative nor a tax cutter, and was plagued by minor but numerous ethical imbroglios. Hunter is a 27-year member of Congress from mega-state California who has chaired the Armed Forces Committee and been a consistent conservative vote across the board (except, quite arguably, on free trade). Yet Huckabee gets celebrated for his fair-to-middlin finish in Iowa while Hunter gets no attention for flat-out winning in Texas.
Why? It’s all about pack mentalities and conventional wisdom. And, frankly, it is no way to choose a president, and it’s absolutely sickening.