Was he the last in line? No no, do not take that away from Christopher Dodd. He likes to point out his disposition to embrace lost causes. Well, his lost cause in Iowa amounted to a hair more than zero percent of the vote, amounting to one delegate.
And it didn't require neglect by the press to effect alienation from the voters. Rudy Giuliani showed up with a burning city on his back, a single fire hose in his hand. He did better than Richardson, gaining 3.5 percent of Republican votes, as opposed to Richardson's 2.1 percent of Democratic votes. But, as someone remarked, he shouldn't be lonely; he has all those wives to return to.
Above the ranks of sheer rejection came the players, among them Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Their principal attraction to the voters of Iowa in 2008 is their insubstantiality. Huckabee is the candidate whose name you practice pronouncing because you thought up until now that he was a character in one of Mark Twain's novels. Some voters may have suspected that that is exactly what he in fact is, and wished to help in his road to incarnation.
Many of the candidates spoke of the Iraq enterprise as a historic pitfall in American history. If it was indeed that, then our legislatures and statehouses are simply teeming with men and women of abject vision, because nearly five years ago, the march against Baghdad was endorsed, openly or silently, by the majority of our public citizens. History would have been grateful for a poll on Thursday registering names of public men and women who endorsed the war. Perhaps they stayed away, or voted for Dodd.
It was a day of defiance. When aberrancy is sought, Americans are good at coming up with it. There are of course galleries of the stuff, carefully tended and regularly exhibited, on Broadway, in the movie houses and at Disneyland. But when the visitors pass through the portals again, going out, their souvenirs tend to be wholesome, as if they had just come back from voting for the surge.
Well, Iowa accomplished quite a lot, in politics and in theater.