A brief recess from reality is in order as we hoist a pint to Ron Paul. He makes the headlines again in the farm-fresh Iowa Poll -- behind Newt and ahead of MItt, also up on even Dunno.
Newt Gingrich 25
Ron Paul 18
Mitt Romney 16
Michele Bachmann 8
Herman Cain 8 (poll taken before he hit the mat))
Rick Perry 6
Rick Santorum 6
I'm not about to crunch lot of numbers or subject readers to prophecy posing as analysis, but something stands out. Even if every Cain voter switched to Bachmann or Perry or Santorum, that person would still trail Dr. Paul.
Politico's Maggie Haberman purrs welcome words into libertarian-leaning ears:
As for the rest, the poll also means the Paul rise is also real - and in a fractured, multi-candidate field, if he can pull a few more points his way and expand his base, he could win the caucuses given his level of organization. This would be the best scenario for Romney short of an outright win there himself at this point.
It wouldn't be bad for Paul, either. Even scaring Newt here would send him strong to New Hampshire where a finish around 20 per cent would keep him kicking through more primaries than we expected.
We all know the odds that, in the end, one of the showmen will beat the statesman. Never mind. We were never about Ron Paul. We are about the idea of free men and women, an idea whose most effective embodiment at this stage of our history is Ron Paul.