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Updated on August 15, 2011

Plus Republican Party Candidates.

Ames, Iowa, was made to represent the whole of the United States all week last week by the Republican Party, with the straw poll organized to select someone from the field of contestants, who would likely be the one to run for president on the party's ticket in 2012.

The straw poll was actually a local event, put up by the Iowa branch of the Republican Party, and therefore it would involve party grassroots and the hopefuls for the presidency, who were having dreams of being nominated dancing in their heads.

However, it was obvious, most of those present have also been chosen from other party branches, prior to be there, not just to attend, but to vote in the straw poll in order to boost the party's ego. They would not have normally planned to be there at their own expense as enthusiasts. Some would say that they were purely party hirelings.

In a sense, the Ames assemblage was nothing more than a political showcase for the hopefuls, who were seeking the party's nod; namely, Bachmann, Pawlenty, Paul, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum, Huntsman and McCotter.

Romney, the present front runner of the contenders, and Perry, who just announced his presidential bid, would not participate in the straw poll. They were not even there, except for (Sarah) Palin, who was also contemplating running in the 2012 election. In a peculiar way, she showed up acting like an Interloper-in-Chief, and connecting with the people at the event; but never with any of her likely contenders, or at least not on camera.

She was just there for reasons of name recognition; and perhaps to savor her chances, should she in case join the race at a later date. Actually, what she got was a lot of free time and attention from the media, which were clamoring for fresh political news after the debt crisis, anyway. It turned out to be something that she thought would be helpful to her campaign; for she has nothing to lose, but to be able to accumulate more publicity.

They wanted to know if she has made up her mind as yet, but her answer was still inconclusive. So far she has not declared her candidacy, but she was granting interviews all over the place, like they (interviews) were going out of style.

The winner of the straw poll was Michele Bachmann, scoring about 28% of the 16000 votes that were cast. Most people thought she won, for the fact that she was born in Iowa, Waterloo; and that the people there would vote for her out of sheer pride for their state.

Ron Paul came in second, and very close to winning, with 27.65% of the total votes. The rest of the pack trailed behind with smaller numbers, like McCottor getting just a measly 35 votes.

The most noticeable aspect of the occasion was the humdrum of the contestants repeating what they thought the expectation of the country was. It was the economy that was in a deplorable state, and they were the ones that could fix it, and in the process create jobs.

That the people should be voting for them in the next presidential election, because of President Barack Obama's poor performance, in regard to the dismal economy.

That the country was not going to navigate through so much difficulty in raising the debt ceiling, because, according to Bachmann, there would not be one, but just the debt reduction to get the economy back on track. With a new person at the helm of the government; and that could be any one of them in the White House managing the country's affairs, things would be different.

In other words, what the country was currently experiencing was solely due to Obama's inept fiscal policies. They on the other hand could do better.

Bachmann thought she could continue to harp on her favorite mantra of "Obama will be a one term president"; but that was not catching fire with her audience. She realized from the idea of only a few people clapping; however, she went on using it wherever she went without stopping.

Ron Paul's libertarian views have already gained ground from the many years that he has been expressing them, and so, there was nothing unexpected coming from him. The crowd was not even surprised about his attacks on the Obama administration for being hostile toward Iran. He maintained that the U.S. should stay out of other countries' affairs.

Neutrality in a turbulent world by the United States? Not on your life. That was not possible.

The event had a "country fair" or theme park atmosphere; a look which it usually or customarily had every year, with many family entertainment and activities going on; plus a whole number of commercial stands of several companies hawking their products, from soda fountain drinks to cars and trucks.

The townspeople of Ames might have enjoyed the festive nature of the straw poll. To any outsider, like someone from New York City, the whole thing was somewhat jovial; a big social gathering with a political flair. The Democrats should not worry too much about its outcome, as the winner did not seem to getting to sit in the Oval Office anytime soon. Besides, she has to win the nomination first.

There has already been a victim of the straw poll. Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican Party nomination contest. He was claimed by its (straw poll's) results, as he came in third out of the nine candidates contesting for the party's choice in the 2012 general election.


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