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2012 GOP: Primary: Where are they now?

July 20, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

Iowa has been quiet as of late; quieter than normal.

It seems like only a year ago our fine little state was filled with the rancorous tone of bickering GOP hopefuls, each candidate locked in mortal combat with their alleged colleagues to claim the coveted prize of "winner of a small portion of a potential presidential nomination."

In the beginning Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll, then we had Romney emerge as the not-so-clear winner of the Caucus, then it turns out Rick Santorum actually won the Caucus, then the guy whose job it was to count the votes at the Caucus lost his job.

Then ... nothing.

Well, not so much nothing. Sure, there was still tons of national coverage of the GOP Primary, other states, and the rise and fall of my personal life coach Herman Cain.

But these were matters for people outside our borders, we Iowans, who suffer so greatly at the beginning of election season, were offered a reprieve following months of commercials about how Newt Gingrich will destroy America because of ... whatever ... I'm sure it seemed important at the time.

After a long, contentious fight Willard "The Mitt" Romney emerged as the victor, finally overcoming a seemingly insurmountable lead by "None of the Above."

While Romney and his hand picked team of people who donated enough money to pretend they have an impact on the campaign discuss the possible vice presidential candidates (Condoleeza Rice, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, me, Gov. Chris Christie) it seems that some cast members who were already kicked off the island are coming back for a new program.

Because if it's one thing the GOP needs, it's a little dash of "Real World/Road Rules Challenge!"

First up: Gingrich. Proving that you can't keep a good opportunist down Mr. Gingrich recently appeared on what NBC is contractually obligated to call "The Tonight Show."

He was probably there to shill for his new book, or maybe he finally agreed to be in "The Hangover 3." However I was unable to stay on the channel for more than 10 seconds as Gingrich was sharing the couch with Snooki of "Jersey Shore" fame and I don't have the money or time to give my TV an exorcism.

Next up: Rep. Bachmann.

What have we wrought, good people of Iowa?

This woman that we bestowed upon our coveted "straw poll" seal of approval, and who inexplicably sits on the House Intelligence Committee, came out Thursday and said that Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is secretly in league with the Muslim Brotherhood.

I guarantee you that Rep. Bachmann thinks these guys meet at a big round table with one light hanging in the middle, buried deep inside a mountain fortress. And one of them may or may not have a metal hand.

In a shocking development to absolutely no one, Mrs. Abedin is a model American. She's the daughter of immigrants, became a dedicated public servant, and has the saint-like patience to remain married to Anthony Weiner.

Yeah, she stayed married to that guy. That's loyalty.

So Bachmann, apparently scared by first names she cannot pronounce, decided to call this woman a traitor. She was joined in her warrantless accusations by Rep. Westmoreland of Georgia (who once referred to President Obama as 'uppity') and Rep. Gohmert of Texas, who is most known for having coined the term "terror babies.

And finally: Rick Santorum.

Rick Santorum likes to eat at Pizza Ranch. That is all.

As the survey calls and political commercials steadily increase we know that election season will once again assail our tiny swing state. As our skies blacken with personal jets carrying people who tell us we need to cut spending let's take a moment to consider who we're voting for and why, turns out other people have to deal with them once we're done.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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