Iowa did shake up the Republican race for President, but it may have impacted the candidates who are staying in the race as much as those who left. Ted Cruz remains his nasty self but those who came directly behind him may now be compared to bubble boys and hot air balloons.
Chris Christie used the former moniker to describe Marco Rubio who is always “on message” and appears to repeat the same platitudes whether he is giving a stump speech or responding to a question. It’s just a matter of a transition sentence and then “section 1 B.”
In this roiling Republican race for President, nothing goes unnoticed, especially a lack of authenticity. Marco is being criticized, basically, for being too smooth and too rehearsed.
Donald Trump is the other contender most affected by the race in Iowa. Mr. Trump used to love quoting polls in his giant rallies. It animated and reinforced his ego. Now, however, some of the air has gone out of his balloon. He is slowly returning to normal, but he definitely gave the shortest speech of his career for his concession statement.
Mr. Trump is also raising a valid point about the campaign tactics of Ted Cruz. Cruz’s staff directly spread the rumor that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race in order to reduce the competition for the evangelical vote. This lie directly affected the results, and if anyone other than Trump were complaining, the press would take greater notice. As it is, it just looks like sour grapes.
With New Hampshire coming close on the heels of Iowa, none of these caricatures will stay constant. The results will generate a whole new set of dynamics and will go a long way to clarifying the race. A primary election provides a much easier way of expressing your opinion, and I would look for Mr. Cruz to falter behind the hot air balloon and the bubble boy.