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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Iowa should ditch caucuses,or we should ditch Iowa

(By Philip Klein, Washington Examiner) - Today the Iowa state GOP announced that Rick Santorum beat Mitt Romney in this year's caucuses after all, but that they can't be totally sure because vote totals in eight precincts somehow went missing. Here's to hoping this results in a major rethinking of the caucus process, if not stripping Iowa of its first in the nation status altogether.

I've been a longtime critic of the outsized influence Iowa has in electing a president. Not only does it get showered with attention from candidates who voters in later states won't have a chance to support, but most of its population is apathetic about the process. Just roughly one out of every seven registered Republicans participated in this year's caucuses. And even in 2008, when there were hotly-contested races in both parties and record turnout, only 17 percent of registered Iowa voters took part.

News accounts of campaigning in Iowa provide a distorted picture of what's going on there, because there's a natural bias to quote voters who are knowledgeable and passionate. The reality is, there's a lot of apathy among most Iowans -- you'll even run into those at events who can't remember who they voted for just four years earlier.


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