December 15, 2011
Fox News commentator Chris Wallace, who moderated the last GOP debate among Presidential candidates, said of Ron Paul’s surge in Iowa: If Paul were to win in Iowa, “it will discredit the Iowa caucuses because, rightly or wrongly, I think most of the Republican establishment thinks he’s not going to end up as the nominee...So therefore, Iowa won’t count.”
An interesting viewpoint. And a new one for Mr. Wallace. Consider the Iowa caucuses of just 4 years ago.
When a thoroughly inexperienced legislator in his first term ran for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton in 2007, and scored his first upset in Iowa, Mr. Wallace did not think that discredited Iowa, even though at the time much of the Democratic establishment still thought Hillary would get the nod. No record can be found of Chris Wallace saying Iowa would not count if it went for Obama.
On the Republican side, in 2007 Mike Huckabee was little known and not thought a realistic competitor for the office of President. Like Paul this year, he progressively increased in the polls through the second half of the year. Unlike Paul, he was still significantly behind Romney a month prior to the caucuses. And yet when he came from behind to win in Iowa, Chris Wallace never said his win discredited Iowa, because “most of the Republican establishment thinks Huckabee is not going to end up as the nominee.” He didn’t even make this analysis as a retrospective when, in fact, Huckabee didn’t end up being the nominee.
Yet now he thinks this a novel and insightful analysis. One that doesn’t discredit him as an objective moderator and guardian of the news…