Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jon Huntsman on the Iowa Caucus: "They Pick Corn in Iowa; They Pick Presidents in New Hampshire"

One of the great things about living in Iowa is that the presidential nomination process begins here.  It's also one of the worst things about living in Iowa.  Once a new president gets elected, a half-dozen career candidates race over to Iowa and begin campaigning for the next election.  These days, it's not uncommon to receive 3-4 calls from various politicians and/or special interest groups to invite you to this event or that.  Most of us are super-excited for the Iowa caucuses to happen next week -- not necessarily so we can participate in the process (though that's part of it).  We just want to get the caucus over and done with so the politicians rush off to New Hampshire and stop tying up our phone lines!

Anyway, one of the GOP presidential candidates that I haven't heard from much was apparently on CBS' The Early Show" earlier today or yesterday and revealed why we haven't heard too much from him here in Iowa:
Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman is defending his refusal to compete in the leadoff Iowa Republican precinct caucuses, focusing instead on New Hampshire. Huntsman tells CBS's "The Early Show" the formula, so far as he is concerned, is quite elementary. Says Huntsman: "They pick corn in Iowa. They pick presidents in New Hampshire."

The former Utah governor has made little effort to win in Iowa, focusing mostly on New Hampshire in the early going. He has remained in the lower tier of candidates as others, including Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum - and at one time, Herman Cain - soared in the polls. He was ambassador to China for President Barack Obama, but says that shouldn't be used against him as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination.
In other words, Iowa's not important enough for Jon Huntsman to waste his time.

It's true that some Iowans pick corn for a living.  That corn is used to feed not only this nation, but the nations of this world.  Corn is used to produce ethanol and it's used to produce stuff like starch and corn oil and artificial sweeteners.  It also feed the livestock that most Americans enjoys putting on their plates. 

Huntsman may discount the effect that corn production offers to our country and to our economy and that's his choice.  Huntsman may also feel confident with his choice to stay out of Iowa during these pre-caucus months.  Frankly, this Iowan is glad to have one fewer Republican candidate calling his home every night.

But it's pretty stupid for him to blatantly belittle and ignore Iowa on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.  He might not be actively campaigning here, but I'm sure that he has supporters here in Iowa.  And he has the opportunity to gain more... Unless he's busy insulting the state and our caucuses.  One can emphasize his decision to focus on New Hampshire without dissing Iowa.

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