Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tales from a Colorado Caucus

My sister Meg lives in Colorado.  She is probably the least likely of all of my siblings to go to a caucus or political meeting of any kind.  I'll wave signs on street corners, wear a Rick Santorum vest to work, argue in the grocery check-out lane with total strangers...  But Meg has to be pretty motivated to go to a caucus.

After praying about it, she decided this was a year when it really mattered.  Her account of the caucus and what she heard is significant.  It pairs well with the stunningly unenthusiastic reporting of the first candidate to sweep three contests in a single night.

Meg said there were 57 people at her caucus site.  Most of them, about 45, were well over 65.  The smallest group was in our 40-60 age group.

Among the speakers, two younger people spoke, both Mormons.  One was a Ron Paul supporter, who Meg said seemed kind of nutty.  One was a young man who cautioned those in attendance that Mitt Romney has a full wardrobe of skeletons in his closet.  She said that, within the rather large Mormon community in Colorado, there is serious concern that Romney is being promoted because the Democrats know he can be easily taken down in the general election.

I know, one lone voice at a caucus is not a landslide.  But it is significant.  The older voters are more likely to be accustomed to receiving their news from the old guard liberal press and network television.  They are also more likely to stick with a candidate they've known from other races.  That is why Romney won her caucus.

Now the day after, the Omaha World Herald doesn't even mention any of these election results on the front page.  Rick Santorum was denied a clear victory in Iowa because of miscounts and lost results.  The reporting on his victories is tepid.  He has won 4 states on a shoe-string budget, Romney won 3 with a leviathan machine of money and media supported structure, and Gingrich  has 1 state with a fair bit of money and a mouth made for creating controversy.  I know the delegate counts keep Romney in front, but it seems to me that it is time for voters to examine the bigger picture.

If Rick Santorum is doing so well with so little, why is that?  He doesn't get media coverage like the others.  He won Iowa while being relegated to stand in the half-light of a corner of the stage at debates where he had to raise his hand to be able to answer a question.  As the field dwindles, he moves closer to the center, but notice how his picture in any coverage of the presidential field is almost always third or fourth.  He can't pay to advertise like the others, so his message must be delivered in smaller forums, face to face.  And yet, he won 3 states last night.

If more people knew more about Rick Santorum, he could win the nomination.  Give him your time.  Read about him.  Storm the news outlets for some equal time.

I am as afraid of another candidate chosen for us by the media as I am of another Obama win.  Remember how the media chose him for us? 
Post a Comment