Opinion

John E. Sununu | The Iowa caucuses

Primaries may be messy, but they make candidates stronger

THERE’S NOTHING like the strange design and random outcome of the Iowa caucuses to break up the clean, fresh slate of the New Year. If you’re in the Ron Paul camp, polling well and running an excellent grassroots operation in the Hawkeye state, everything is going according to plan. If you are anyone else in the Iowa Republican establishment, you’ve been in a low-grade panic for weeks. High-ranking talking heads like Governor Terry Branstad, conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, and members of Congress have gone to the airwaves to explain that Iowa isn’t as strange — or irrelevant — as it looks.

The only bad news in this isn’t really news at all: Iowa has never been a good indicator of the eventual Republican nominee. For candidates like Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee, the shine from their caucus successes faded fast, but for the political media, the predictable unpredictability of Iowa is good for business. The weird outcome creates an opportunity to carry on with two conventional — but meaningless — narratives of the campaign season: who is or isn’t “electable’’ and why no one can “break out of the pack.’’

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com