Who Cares About the Orange Bowl?

Months before caucus mania descended on the country, various story lines were floated by the political media to try and create a little drama. But now that the caucuses are upon us, it’s worth a look back at the story fads that turned out to be useless.

  • The early caucus: Not too long ago, Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida all competed in an arms race to be one of the first primaries in the nation. But now it’s Jan. 3, and Iowa and New Hampshire are still voting first, albeit a few weeks earlier than usual. Big whoop. We should have trusted in some political form of game theory all along. Russell Crowe John Nash has New Hampshire’s back.
  • Organge Bowl: Pundits also decried a Jan. 3 caucus date because they thought Iowans wouldn’t caucus if the Orange Bowl was on at the same time. Considering candidates’ turnout models are inching higher and higher, that seems like hogwash. Plus, who wants to watch Virginia Tech and Kansas in Florida? (Besides Rudy Giuliani .)
  • Fund raising: Unbeknownst to everybody ( except Ron Paul supporters ), the fourth fund-raising quarter ended at midnight on New Year’s Eve. But the media barely cared. That’s because the fund-raising story lines —while somewhat insightful—are created mainly so the media have something to write about in the dog days of the campaign. Now that there are real stories involving real votes, the media have turned their back on their former muse. Moreover, candidates have barely mentioned their fourth-quarter hauls, in fear that the media will care if their opponents subsequently one-up them.
  • Giuliani vs. Romney: The Republican race used to be the Romniani show, yet both of the candidates are hobbling into the primaries. Romney and Giuliani used to bicker with each other over taxes, line-item vetoes, and immigration at the debates. But looking back on it, that was all a red herring. At this point, it’s more likely that one of them will ask the other to be his VP. Now, Romney and Giuliani will only go head to head if both candidates can last through Florida and Feb. 5, a scenario that’s only possible if Romney wins Iowa and Giuliani stays relevant.