He’s not a typical politician, that’s for sure.
Like any Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump would really like to carry Iowa in November. With that in mind, he made good on his earlier campaign promise to keep coming back there and focus on the concerns of the Hawkeyes. But unlike your average politician, Trump was once again not in the mood to kiss up to them. For starters, he sent a rather mixed message regarding their first in the nation caucus status and the existence of caucuses in general. (Time Magazine)
Donald Trump continued his love-hate relationship with Iowa at a rally in Des Moines Friday.
Speaking to supporters at the Iowa Events Center, the Republican nominee criticized the state’s caucuses, but also pledged to keep the state’s vaunted first-in-the-nation status intact.
“I don’t love the caucus system by the way. I could do without it,” he told the crowd. “I like to vote! I like when you walk in and vote and leave.”
Later in his remarks, he attempted what was obviously intended to be a joke, but might have stung the audience just a bit. If the election goes south for him, he’ll be coming back to lay the blame at their feet.
“I’m spending a lot of money folks, I’ll tell you what,” he said. “If we don’t pull this off, I’m blaming Iowa. If we don’t pull this off, I’m going to say I wasted a lot of money, time and energy, that I can tell you.”
For what it’s worth, Trump has come up with one position where I’m in complete agreement with him. Caucuses in general are a bad idea, as I’ve written here many times. They’re far less democratic in the way they force everyone to show up during a very limited window of time and vote in front of all their family members, neighbors and even employers. It’s just a poor way to run an election.
When we talk about Iowa in particular, letting them go first every four years is an anachronistic leftover of a bygone era. There’s no reason for that one state to punch so far above their weight class in every election cycle and they don’t seem to be terribly representative of the nation as a whole to begin with. In terms of the primary, while this is still the most “unique” election in living memory, they once again failed to correctly predict the eventual winner of the race. (Which is a pity, because Ted Cruz won it this time.)
So all in all, I’m not complaining about Trump’s position here, but I do have to wonder about the message. Joking or not, telling Iowa you’re going to blame them for your own defeat doesn’t really set an optimistic tone for the final stretch of the race and probably doesn’t drive up voter enthusiasm for the turnout he’ll desperately need. But then again, when does Trump ever follow the standard rules of the politico’s playbook?