Welcome back MinnPost readers. Happy post-Thanksgiving wishes. I, by the way, am thankful for you and for MinnPost for bringing us together.
Writing for The New Republic, Nate Cohn makes the case for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as a likely 2016 nominee, based mostly on two ideas. 1. Walker’s appeal cuts across several of the Republican factions and 2. Walker will play well in Iowa.
Count me unconvinced, on one count and curmudgeonly on the other. Cohn should at least have alluded to fairly powerful evidence, recently summarized by Larry Jacobs, that Walkerism isn’t working Wisconsin. (Of course for that to matter, one would have to believe that measureable success was important.)
On point two, I have no particular belief about Walker’s likely success in the Iowa caucuses. Read the Cohn piece for that argument, although it includes the fact that Wisconsin (like Minnesota) borders on Iowa. But curmudgeonliness makes me want to ask, more and more often as the years go by, why the rest of the country accepts the absurd primacy of Iowa (and New Hampshire, for similar purely calendarological reasons) in winnowing the field of presidential candidates.
It isn’t in the Constitution that two small states should outrank the other 48. It doesn’t even have a long history. (Jimmy Carter in 1976 was pretty much the first candidate to win a nomination by practically moving to Iowa.) Curmudgeon says this magic power should move around the country a bit more and hopes that every time you see a piece acting as if Iowa appeal is the key to the White House you will ask yourself why this should be.