In Iowa, it’s every Republican candidate for himself/herself

Tom WestI’ve just returned from Sioux City, Iowa, where we visited relatives over Christmas.

However, there was no Christmas spirit to be had on the local TV stations. Instead, Iowans have been inundated with political ads, as if it were just days before the November election. That’s because Tuesday, Iowans will hold their precinct caucuses, and thus kick off the formal process of nominating presidential candidates.

Republicans may have a new slate of candidates, but they are using the old attack ad strategy that voters have come to detest.

In his autobiography, Ronald Reagan wrote, “The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the (California) Republican chairman …postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.’ It’s a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.”

That’s not happening today. More than $8 million is being spent on pre-caucus ads in Iowa, most of them designed to point out the negatives about each candidate. The Democrats have to be loving it. The GOP is doing the dirty work for them.

Tom West is the general manager of the Peach. Reach him at (320) 352-6569 or tom.west@ecm-inc.

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