The Iowa caucuses were last Monday. Blueprint sent me down to Iowa to cover the event, to look for the story between the headlines.
Once every four years, the Hawkeye State gets to feel like the quiet kid in elementary school everyone forgot about until his parents got him a pair of sweet Ninja Turtle light-up shoes. Iowa is the first electoral event of the presidential election season.
The Iowa caucuses are really more about who’s going to drop out of the race than who’s going to win the whole thing come November. The Republicans, with about a dozen candidates, could definitely use some drop-outs.
Alright so how’d it go?
Ted Cruz is probably the biggest winner. First, he got to stick it to the Donald. But more importantly, this is another step toward Cruz’s high school dream of achieving world domination. Cruz was a quiet teenager, ruthlessly bullied for being born in Canada. Cruz’s classmates never forgot, much less forgave, the Canadians for burning down the White House in the War of 1812. But Cruz dreamed of remaking the world in his own image. A world where Tim Hortons replaced Starbucks, “eh” replaced the question mark, and “Canadian bacon” was just bacon. After college, well short on his world domination goals, Cruz decided to go to law school—this was, after all, Julius Caesar’s backup plan too. While at Harvard Law, Cruz lamented the existence of the “minor Ivies” though he appears to have been agnostic about the middle and upper-middle Ivies. But look at Cruz now! Though he may have only attended Harvard, Cruz was heard to say that winning the Iowa caucuses made him feel like a McGill graduate.
The other big winner is John Kasich. The NY Times editorial board, well known for its hostility to the Republican party, decided to torpedo the Kasich campaign by endorsing Kasich for the Republican presidential nomination. Shortly after the endorsement, images of a broken Kasich surfaced on Twitter: his gaze unfocused, thick, orange foundation streaked by tears. Well, those tears have dried and despite his NY Times endorsement, Kasich managed to take 1.9% of the vote in Iowa! Kasich’s campaign manager was quoted saying, “We had put in an order for ten custom 3d-printed Kasich bobble-head dolls on the same day as the NY Times endorsement. I was worried I’d have to call and cancel the order. How awkward would that have been? I hate calling.”
The view from the Democratic party was grimmer. After the initial shock of the “virtual tie” between the Bern and Hilary wore off, the big story broke. Who was Martin O’Malley, and whose money was he spending? For those not “in the know,” O’Malley was the mysterious third candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Was it just a coincidence that the X-Files returned to TV at the same time O’Malley’s campaign received a mysterious injection of campaign funds? Remember, O’Malley is the former governor of Maryland. And Maryland is a hotbed of UFO activity. O’Malley’s inexplicable lasting power gave credence to old rumors: Martin O’Malley is an alien. Not the Ted Cruz kind of alien, but a full blown Grey. In 2010, O’Malley was quoted saying that aliens were just “New Americans.” I shuddered then, as I shudder now.
I’m at the airport. Leaving Iowa today. I see Trump is on the tarmac waiting for his private jet. The rest of the press corps is hypnotized by his golden-maned comb over flopping in the wind. But not me. I’m keeping my eyes on the sky.
Cue the theme song.