1.) Eight is enough for Romney — Eight votes, that is. TheDC’s Alex Pappas and David Martosko report on Mitt’s molecule-thin margin of victory in Iowa:
“Eight votes. That’s all that separated Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum when the dust settled on the GOP Iowa caucuses, after what was undoubtedly the closest Hawkeye State contest in memory. The 122,255 caucus-goers awarded 30,015 votes to Romney and 30,007 to Santorum… Hours before the margin between the two top finishers reached photo-finish dimensions, Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, led an emotional speech to supporters with a clarion call of ‘Game on!’ Santorum told his crowd that he was taking his surging campaign to New Hampshire in an effort to solidify his role as the conservative alternative to Romney. Like Santorum, Romney made a speech to a lightly attended roomful of less energized supporters just before midnight in Iowa when the race was still too close to call. ‘On to New Hampshire. Let’s get that job done,’ Romney said… While Romney emerged with a razor-thin victory, Santorum will be considered the ultimate winner. He outperformed everyone’s expectations, catapulting himself from single-digit political purgatory into a leading role through a methodical campaign schedule that took him to all of Iowa’s 99 counties long before his competitors.”
So, Santorum is the new Not-Romney. Kudos to him for hanging in there, even when everybody counted him out. (Being viciously attacked by Gollum Colmes the day before couldn’t have hurt either.) Which one of them will end up being the Not-Obama? Does it even matter? Is it November yet?
2.) Perry packs it in — He made a big splash… and just kept sinking. TheDC’s Will Rahn reports:
“After a poor showing in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he would return home to ‘determine whether this is a path forward in this race.’ He added that he would use the time to concentrate on ‘prayer and reflection.’ It was the first time the Texas governor has had to deliver a concession speech in his 27-year long career in politics. He entered the presidential race in August, and after enjoying front-runner status for several weeks, Perry saw his numbers drop after a series of sub-par debate performances. Perry had hoped that a good showing in Iowa could give his campaign a new lease on life. He spent more than $4 million on television ads in the state, only to finish in fifth place with just over 12,400 votes.”
At least he reduced Mike Allen to a sputtering mess on the way out. Still, though, $4 million? That comes out to over $300 a vote. Just think how many votes the Dems could buy with $300. Maybe they really are the party of fiscal responsibility.
3.) Gingrich does not call Romney a stinky, stinky dumbhead — In other Loser News, TheDC’s Matthew Boyle reports:
“Without calling him out by name, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stuck a knife in former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during his concession speech after the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night. Gingrich placed fourth, putting him at the top of second tier of Republican candidates. But, during his post-caucuses speech, he took several stabs at Romney for what Gingrich considers attack ads aimed at him — which helped knock Gingrich off the top of the polls after he enjoyed a recent spike. ‘We want to thank the people of Iowa,’ Gingrich said. ‘All through being drowned in negativity, everywhere we went people were positive and receptive, willing to ask questions and would listen. They wanted to get to the truth rather than latest 30-second distortion and it really gave us a feeling this process does work.'”
Translation: “I didn’t go negative, unlike some stupid poop-face jerks I could name.” And what about Bachmann? Boyle reports:
“Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann came in sixth place in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses Tuesday night, which was effectively a last-place finish as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman chose not to compete in Iowa.”
That’s right: Jon Huntsman is still running for president. Well, why not?
4.) Al Gore does call Ron Paul “thilly” — Pots know a lot about kettles, as TheDC’s Jeff Poor reports:
The Iowa caucuses were discussed Tuesday evening on Current TV by network founder and former Vice President Al Gore, host Cenk Uygur and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Gore offered particularly harsh words for the presidential candidacy of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, dismissing the libertarian favorite as a ‘silly’ candidate. Analyzing the returns, Gore said, ‘He does not have a ceiling in fantasy land, but in the real world when people take a look at his actual positions, when Republicans take a look on at his actual positions, come on.’ Americans’ frustration with the economic and political situation in the country was, Gore said, the only reason Paul would even been considered by voters. ‘That all is part of a general attitude that you know, let’s just play 52-card pick up,’ he mused, ‘let’s just up-end things and do something radically different. And I think he does culturally, psychologically tap into that.'”
And then he held up a picture of a polar bear and burst into tears. By the way, if you’re worried that Keith Olbermann wasn’t on the air last night, you’re pretty much the only one.
5.) Meanwhile, on Planet Obama… — The fourth-greatest president in U.S. history is bravely conceding nothing to the Republicans, or to anyone else dwelling in consensus reality. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“President Barack Obama offered a truncated version of his campaign-dinner speech to Iowa campaign workers Tuesday night, complete with personal anecdotes, claims of political success, appeals for more donations and a glimpse of how he hopes to portray the stakes of the 2012 election. ‘Part of what 2012 is about is both reminding the American people of how far we’ve traveled and the concrete effects that some of our work … but part of it is also framing this larger debate about what kind of country are we going to leave for our children and our grandchildren,’ he said. As part of that reframing effort, Obama caricatured the GOP’s free-market policies as ‘a different theory that says, we’re going to cut taxes for the wealthiest among us, and roll back regulations on things like clean air and health care reform and Wall Street reform, and that somehow, automatically, that assures that everybody is able to succeed.’ ‘I don’t believe that’ theory, said Obama, who has described himself as a progressive.”
Because that’s the role of government: assuring your success. Unless you become too successful, of course, in which case you’re the enemy until you write Obama a check. Well, he’s right that the 2012 election will determine the world we leave for future generations. They’re the ones we’re sticking with the bill.
6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Ron Paul’s Twitter feed — “@JonHuntsman we found your one Iowa voter, he’s in Linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks.”
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