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August 12, 2007

Spinning Ames: Lost In Not-Very-Important Tumult Is The Fact Romney Won

I expect this worth-reading bit over at TNR's plank will be the basic media play on the Ames straw poll: that Huckabee sort of won even though he actually placed. There's some truth in that, of course, and Huckabee deserves his props and all, but it seems to me that Romney sort of deserves some mention for, you know, actually winning and all. Surely there's a story there, right?

The MSM will mention that-- begrudgingly. I don't think there's much question that of the top tier of GOP candidates, Romney is the most loathed by liberals. The other three have something in their pasts to make them less repulsive to liberals (McCain: seems to hate conservatives; Giuliani: lived with a couple of gay dudes for a while; Thompson: enjoyed a colorful and far-ranging sex life, as I'm sure we'll soon find out), whereas squeaky-clean too-handsome Romney is not only one of the more socially conservative candidates but, worse yet, he's an apostate from the One True Church of Liberalism, whose pews he occasionally sat in when running for office in archliberal Massachusetts.

Hugh Hewitt (of course a bit Romney supporter) reminds us that Romney did in fact win, and with the same percentage of votes that Bush did, and by a somewhat greater margin than Bush beat Forbes. True, Giuliani and McCain didn't compete, but that's because they didn't think they could win and so dropped out so as to deflate Romney's victory. Which seems successful -- but hey, if they could have won, they would have.

Of course it's not just liberals who find Huckabee's surprise-second the big story out of Ames. Hewitt's own site features as its first post on the outcome a post titled "Huckabee!" (by Patrick Ruffini), so Hewitt and Barnett have their work cut out for them.

Romney won, but everyone expected he would win. So the talk is naturally about the unexpected second-placer.

Still, expected or not, Romney won. Which is still a story, and shouldn't be forgotten. Even if the MSM likes to talk more about Huckabee, as they (correctly) don't see him as a threat to actually win the nomination or a general election. (How the MSM loves to champion Republicans who can't win!)

That said, the bigger story is that none of this really matters.

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posted by Ace at 01:14 PM

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