Donald Trump had promised a “tremendous” victory in Iowa. “It all begins today,” he tweeted. And in caps, “WE WILL FINALLY TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK AND MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
With 99 percent of the votes counted, Cruz was ahead of Trump 28 to 24. The big surprise was Marco Rubio at 23. Trump, acknowledging defeat, said he will still go on to victory:
“We will go on to get the Republican nomination and we will go on to easily beat Hillary or Bernie. We finished second, and I have to say I am just honored.”
“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next President of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment.”
No indeed, if Cruz has his way, it will be chosen by haters.
Civil rights legend and People For the American Way board member Dolores Huerta stated:
“Ted Cruz would make a disastrous president. To win the Iowa caucus, he campaigned across the state with dangerous far-right leaders like Rep. Steve King, who called DREAMers drug dealers with ‘calves the size of cantaloupes.’ As a Senator, Ted Cruz voted against raising the minimum wage, against student loan reform, against paid sick leave. His agenda is dangerously extreme. We can’t afford a Ted Cruz presidency.
“But the fact is, it’s not just Cruz or Trump that have adopted rhetoric and policy positions that could be devastating to our communities. Marco Rubio, who placed third tonight, has followed in the footsteps of Cruz and Trump. In recent weeks, Rubio has taken a hard-right turn, painting all immigrants as possible terrorists. That’s both offensive and dangerous to immigrants across the country.”
By finishing third, Marco Rubio positioned himself as the next Mitt Romney. I know it’s hard to make that sound like an accomplishment, but the GOP establishment has to have a candidate, and it looks like Rubio assumes the position by default.
Even taking that into account, he was happier than you would expect any third-place finisher to be:
“This is the moment they said would never happen. For months, they told us we had no chance. They told me that I needed to wait my turn, that I needed to wait in line. But tonight here in Iowa, the people of this great state have sent a very clear message — after seven years of Barack Obama, we are not waiting any longer to take our country back.”
Maybe we can start handing out “participated” ribbons. He’ll have a shot at another one when South Carolina holds its Republican presidential primary on February 20.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.