Iowa is not a microcosm of America. It is too white and too rural for that. But the vote tonight in the Iowa precinct caucuses will begin to show which Republican candidates run well (or not so well) among a variety of constituencies that will be major participants in the primary balloting to follow.
If former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania manages to win the Iowa Republican caucuses Tuesday night, it would be a first.
About this time eight years ago I was part of a panel in New Hampshire on the topic of the 2004 presidential election. Although not one primary or caucus had been held, the discussion focused on how the newly minted Democratic front-runner, Howard Dean, would fare in the fall campaign against President George W. Bush.
As for President Obama these days, there is both good news and bad. The good: the filing deadline has passed for the New Hampshire primary and he has drawn no opposition of note on the Democratic side. It confirms an easy path to renomination for the president that should ultimately brighten his reelection chances.
New York City has by hit by two earthquakes in the last month. The first was of the meteorological sort and registered nearly 6.0 on the Richter scale. The second rumblings Sept. 13 were of the political kind, and came when Republican Bob Turner won a historically Democratic House district anchored in Queens that was formerly represented by Geraldine Ferraro, current Sen. Charles Schumer, and the recently resigned, ethically-tinged Anthony Weiner.