Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer is running a dark horse campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. His dark horse is so far back in the race that you can barely see it from Jon Huntsman’s dark horse. He’s currently focused on just getting to 5% in New Hampshire so he can earn a spot in the next debate.
Roemer is keenly aware of the odds against him, and has a marvelous sense of humor about it. He was active on Twitter throughout the night during the Iowa caucuses, and made some hilarious observations, including this mischievous comparison between his campaign and Huntsman’s: “Worse than coming in last in Iowa w/no debates and no PAC$$$? Getting 1% after 16 nationally televised debates & a Super PAC. #justsayin.”
His prediction for the night was that Huntsman would end up “in 6th place screaming ‘I’m the real conservative!’ into a piece of corn.” At least half of that prediction turned out to be accurate.
Responding to Esquire Magazine’s snarky announcement that “Buddy Roemer, with 47 votes, could be tonight’s spoiler,” Roemer cheerfully replied, “In it to win it!”
Around midnight, an amused Nate Silver of the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog noted that “6 votes for Lizard People were just counted in Allamakee County.” Later, when breathless observes saw only five votes separating front-runners Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, Roemer reminded us that five votes also separated Buddy Roemer from the Lizard People.
Managing expectations is important for a politician, as Roemer adroitly demonstrated: “SPOILER ALERT: I’m not going to win Iowa. Don’t tell the 49 people who caucused for me.” He offered to grab a bus and pick them all up for a post-traumatic round of drinks. On the bright side, he calculated that he almost had enough voters in Iowa to start a bowling league.
Roemer is a keen student of his opponents’ tactics. Watching the victory speech from the surprise winner of the night, he declared, “Okay. That’s it. I’m buying a sweater vest. #itworkedforsantorum.”
He’s also fearlessly willing to analyze his own campaign shortcomings, wondering if “maybe I should have waited until after the Iowa caucuses to say I would cut all ethanol subsidies.”