• The long, strange road to the Iowa caucuses detailed • Top three candidates separated by small percentage
By Victor Thorn
With more plot twists than a daytime soap opera, the long, strange road leading to Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucuses has seen scandals, embarrassments, surprises and a jockeying for position among frontrunners that has been ever changing on a weekly basis. The big question that must be asked is: Have American voters been duped by the manipulative use of polls to prepare them to accept a candidate that has already been selected for them?
Following John McCain’s disastrous 2008 presidential run, Mitt Romney immediately emerged as the 2012 frontrunner. With money, organization and name recognition, Romney has devoted the last decade of his life vying for the Republican nomination. With steadiness and an unflappable demeanor, pundits agree that it was his race to lose.
However, an array of wild cards soon emerged to confound the situation. Namely, McCain’s vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin, New York City real estate mogul Donald Trump and New Jersey’s bombastic Gov. Chris Christie all considered throwing their hats in the ring to challenge Romney, whose “made for TV appearance” seemed a bit too certain.
First out of the gates was Gov. Palin, who embarked on a glitzy bus tour that had media hounds considering the possibility of what would happen if this charismatic, extremely polarizing figure jumped in with guns a-blazing. But with high negative ratings, Mrs. Palin opted out.
And who can forget last spring when Trump created headlines by none-too-subtly questioning Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president due to speculation concerning his alleged Kenyan birth? But with the release of a laughably-forged birth certificate on April 27, 2011, that many computer experts contend had been manipulated, Trump mysteriously dropped this hot-button issue. Par for the course, a compliant lapdog media demanded that this controversy had now been settled and was no longer news. Shortly thereafter, with his mission accomplished to set aside the “birther” debate, Trump assumed the role of a boorish commentator that repeated the same tired mantra on show after show.
Finally, the hard-charging Chris Christie had to convince supporters, “Short of suicide, I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running.”
With these three political superstars now out of the picture, the field crystallized to prepare for a series of hotly contested debates that soon became characterized as a “reality TV show.” These showdowns coincided with an ongoing game of musical chairs that eventually allowed nearly every GOP candidate to assume the lead in various polls.
Former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty began the process by posing a short-lived challenge to Romney. But when Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) won the Aug. 13 Ames, Iowa straw poll, she soon emerged as a media darling to the right, while members of the liberal press portrayed her as a flaky religious zealot. Bachmann’s slavish devotion to Israel didn’t endear her to those who are suspicious of Zionist control over the American media and political system.
As if following a script, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entry into the race bumped Bachmann into a nosediving spiral from which she never recovered. Yet, Perry’s ineptitude soon became apparent as he made gaffe after gaffe. At one point during a debate he couldn’t name the three government agencies that he wanted to eliminate, while another “oops” moment led many to deduce that his intelligence level was even below that of George W. Bush’s—a scary notion, indeed.
Adding to the furor was Perry’s bizarre executive order to have all 12-year-old girls in the state vaccinated with Gardasil, a cervical cancer vaccine. Perhaps the final nail in Perry’s coffin came when he enraged conservatives after declaring them “heartless” for not defending his policy of giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens.
Perry’s crash-and-burn self-destruction facilitated the rise of black businessman and former Federal Reserve honcho Herman Cain, who championed a much-ballyhooed tax plan called 9-9-9. Although his tax plan was full of holes, Cain’s real problems arose when a string of women stepped forward to accuse the candidate of either sexually harassing them or engaging in extramarital affairs. Unable to withstand the heat, Cain bowed out and faded into obscurity.
Along the way, GOP gatekeepers allowed former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson to participate in a handful of debates. Largely ignored, Johnson did land one memorable line when asked about the economy. He quipped, “My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.” Regrettably, Republican bigwigs blackballed Johnson and refused to grant him a place on the debate stage, as they similarly did to former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer.
Johnson recently switched party affiliations and is now seeking the Libertarian nomination.
With a new vacuum opened after Cain’s departure, Newt Gingrich surged to lead the pack. An arrogant elitist and ultimate Beltway insider—epitomized by a commercial where he sat beside Nancy Pelosi to promote global warming—Gingrich relished his role as the “smartest man in the room.”
Soon, however, Gingrich went under the microscope for his close affiliation with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the U.S. government-sponsored mortgage giants. Romney also confronted Gingrich on his bizarre idea that America should establish lunar colonies to mine minerals. Gingrich also advocated using a complex arrangement of space mirrors to light U.S. highways.
Fortunately, conservative infatuation with Gingrich waned in the following weeks, only to be filled—lo and behold—by another Israel-firster, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.). As is Romney, Santorum is rabidly pro-military expansionist, pro-AIPAC and pro-Zionist. Santorum unabashedly advocates the launching of an unconstitutional American military attack on Iran and its nuclear capabilities that would undoubtedly begin World War III.
Amid all this choreographed shuffling and razzle dazzle, Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) has remained an unwavering force to be reckoned with. The devotion among his core base was evident in Iowa, where only days prior to the caucuses he was cited as the odds-on favorite to achieve victory. An ardent constitutionalist, Federal Reserve foe and proponent of state’s rights, Paul is the only candidate that hasn’t been accused by his colleagues of being a flip-flopper. Or, as Paul has stated in numerous interviews: “I’ve been delivering the same message for 30 years. America is now finally catching up with me.”
Last but not least, as AFP’s Michael Collins Piper has dutifully noted over the past few months, former Utah Gov. John Huntsman is being groomed to play a potential Ross Perot-style spoiler after coming under the tutelage of Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild. If Huntsman decides to pursue this endeavor, it could mean the creation of a new internationalist party—something the world’s elites have been salivating over for many years now.
Ron Paul Supporters Encouraged by Vote
By Victor Thorn
In a suspense-filled Iowa caucus that wasn’t decided until the early morning hours of Jan. 4, Mitt Romney emerged victorious in the popularity contest by the slim margin of only eight votes over former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), with both receiving 25 percent of the overall votes. The Ron Paul revolution also stayed alive, ending in third place with 22 percent, behind the two frontrunners by only a few thousand votes. This was double what Paul garnered in 2008. It is expected that, despite the difference in votes, all three of the top contenders—Romney, Santorum and Paul—will wind up with seven delegates each from Iowa.
With real news on Paul hard to come by, AFP followed the caucus and the final results closely.
During a late-night speech delivered in Ankeny, Iowa, Paul addressed his cheering loyalists by declaring, “We’re challenging the status quo by going back to an old-fashioned notion: Let’s obey the Constitution.” He also quoted President Dwight Eisenhower’s parting words when leaving the White House in January 1961: “Beware the military-industrial complex.”
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin echoed a sentiment shared by many in her party. She stressed that Paul’s colleagues need to respect this man, unlike they did in 2008. Mrs. Palin warned: “The GOP better not alienate Ron Paul supporters, because they reflect how Americans are war weary. Plus, we’re broke.”
Although their candidate secured a strong third place, the Ron Paul nation has mixed feelings, disappointed that if they could win anywhere, the Iowa caucus system would have been the perfect opportunity for them to do so. Paul did fare well with independent voters, Catholics, fiscal conservatives and, most importantly, young voters.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich limped in at a distant fourth place. As a result, he appeared bitter and petulant at his post-caucus speech, similar to a spoiled child that didn’t receive what he deemed his just rewards. But later, as an appeal for party unity, he said: “The ultimate goal [is] to replace Obama.”
The race’s two biggest disappointments were Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who spent more money than any other candidate, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), who finished in last place. Bachmann has since withdrawn.
Paul’s supporters were happy with the results of this year’s caucus, which keeps the Texas maverick in the race. “We have tremendous opportunity to continue this momentum. It won’t be long that there’s going to be an election up in New Hampshire, and believe me, this momentum is going to continue and this movement is going to continue and we are going to keep scoring,” Paul told his supporters.
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and the author of many books on 9-11 and the New World Order. These include 9-11 Evil: The Israeli Role in 9-11 and Phantom Flight 93 and Other Sept. 11 Mysteries Explored. He was the co-founder of the WING TV Network.