Sunday, January 18, 2004

Cracker Barrel Swami Predicts the Winner in Iowa Caucuses!

Beats the heck out of me!

I can't even figure out how the durn things work, although William Saletan and Matt Schiller try their best to 'splain it in Slate. Frankly, it makes my head hurt.

Dave Barry also tries to 'splain it and his version sounds like more fun:
I've been covering these things since 1984, and I have never once heard a coherent explanation of how Iowans caucus. We know that they do it indoors, at night, and they form little groups, and eventually there are Jell-O shots and something called ``The Happy Pants Dance.''

Also the largest man present must smear his naked body with margarine and fight a boar.

But beyond that, it's a mystery.
Dave is actually in Iowa covering the snooze, and offers a brief assessment of the erstwhile leaders:
Usually, this [the winner] is Rep. Dick ''Dick'' Gephardt, five-time winner of the World's Whitest Man competition. Dick comes from Missouri (a state near Iowa) and has won the Iowa caucuses 14 times, although once he was edged out by Sen. Tom Harkin, who is actually FROM Iowa.

In any event, when the caucuses are over, everybody moves on to New Hampshire, and nobody thinks about Iowa again for years. This time around, however, Iowa is in turmoil. Dick is here again, of course, but he is threatened by a newcomer named Howard Dean, who is from Vermont or possibly Rhode Island, neither of which is anywhere near Iowa.

Yet Howard is making a strong showing, thanks in part to thousands of young campaign volunteers who have come to Iowa out of a sincere and idealistic desire to skip classes. They are highly organized: According to a Washington Post story, ``the Dean field operatives have purchased mountains of bottled water and granola bars, and cell phones and flashlights by the dozen.''

Yes, flashlights. The Post doesn't say why. Maybe it has to do with ``The Happy Pants Dance.''
More of Dave's coverage of this milestone event in A big carrot calls for peas on earth and See nice and manly men at a rally near you.