IA caucuses: the field of (broken) dreams



Columnist Carr-Murphy feels something she never thought she’d feel for a Republican: sympathy. With Jeb Bush’s astounding defeat in Iowa, she hopes things will turn around for him.


I’m sure many of you feel the same relief I do now that the Iowa caucuses are over. It can be comforting to sink back into the anonymity our state enjoys for the time between presidential elections. It’s also comforting to see some of the candidates in the overburdened roster begin to see the writing on the wall and drop out of the election.

The Iowa caucuses helped cut short the campaigns of Martin O’Malley (future vice president), Rand Paul (future hair product spokesperson), Rick Santorum (future strip club regular) and Mike Huckabee (future poisoned Kool-Aid pusher). For the other voters around the country who would like to thank the citizens of Iowa for prompting this thinning, we ask that, in lieu of gifts, they donate to their local humane society.

Speaking of hapless creatures who need to be adopted by a loving family, Jeb Bush appears to be unwavering in his campaign for the GOP nomination. Despite only getting 5,238 of the 186,874 votes cast in the Republican caucus and earning just one delegate of the 30 in play, Jeb has yet to suspend his campaign (which is such a good euphemism for quitting; I’m surprised we don’t see it pop up in more contexts).

According to Politico, the Jeb! campaign sent out a memo after the Iowa caucus reminding supporters of the previous decision to shift resources away from Iowa, since it is “just one of 56 contests, electing 30 delegates out of 2,472 going to the Convention to select our nominee.” It’s astounding to think resources were shifted away from Iowa by Jeb!, et al, since they still managed to spend about $2,800 per vote according to Huffington Post (the paragon of unbiased reporting).

The thing that confounds me about Jeb!’s continued embarrassment at the hands of Republican voters is that he seems like a much better candidate than several of the frontrunners. Besides being against equality for women and not believing in the detrimental effects of systematic racism in our country, he doesn’t seem like that bad of a guy.

Jeb! doesn’t evoke in me the visceral feelings of horror that Ted Cruz does. And, unlike some of Jeb’s relatives, he may actually be intelligent, as evidenced by his graduating magna cum laude in just two and a half years. I’ve been at UNI twice that long, with nothing to show for it but the memories.

But it’s not my broken dreams I want to focus on here.

Jeb! has stirred in me a type of sympathy I never thought I would feel for a Republican (one who isn’t my blood relative, anyway). On Nov. 10, 2015, Trevor Noah and the “Daily Show” crew aired a segment called, “It’s Time to Free Jeb Bush,” where they called for the release of the candidate from “campaign captivity.”

As time has gone on in the road to the race to the White House, I’ve only become more convinced the “Daily Show” was on to something. But since it doesn’t seem like the campaign is freeing Jeb in the near future; the only thing that would ease my ailing heart is for Jeb to see a little more kudos from the crowds watching him perform. And that is why, in my official capacity as a Northern Iowan opinion columnist, I’m endorsing Jeb Bush to lose against the Democratic nominee in November of 2016.