"He exceeded expectations," says Gilmore's biggest, and maybe only, fan in Des Moines.
With the Iowa caucuses upon us, it seems like every Republican tramping through the snow claims to be a Bible-believing, God-fearing, Jesus-loving Christian. Some trot out their parents; others offer personal conversion stories. Some defend persecuted Christians; others explain their policies in Biblical terms. It's a fruitless exercise.
Only George Pataki and Jim Gilmore, the two least recognizable candidates, had agreed to make an appearance.
The Republican candidates have now entered a winnowing phase where voters are clearly indicating that there are only six viable candidates in the race. From an initial field of 17, two have dropped out, five are on life support (politically), and four are in stable but critical condition.
I'm not one to invoke Higher Powers, but for those of us watchdogging corporate welfare, the early departures of candidates Rick Perry and Scott Walker are enough to suggest Divine Intervention. Two of the most outrageous subsidy sinners are gone. If Somebody Up There is meting out economic development justice, who's next to drop?
CNN was (obviously) baiting everyone into getting into little personal spats, which did happen a number of times, but more than just fireworks this did provoke some interesting back-and-forth exchanges between candidates with differing (even, at times, opposing) viewpoints.
Think he has a shot?
Many Republican politicians call themselves "values candidates." What does that really mean? Is there another way to talk about "values" that expands the definition and lends more predictability to the success of the 2016 presidential election?