Republican primaries hit Bellevue West, from Iowa

Cole Seefus, Reporter

Lousi Harrison of the Iowa Caucus from Bellevue Video Yearbook on Vimeo.

Louis Harrison of the Iowa Caucus pt 2 from Bellevue Video Yearbook on Vimeo.

Louis Harrison of the Iowa Caucus pt. 3 from Bellevue Video Yearbook on Vimeo.

By Cole Seefus

In hopes of narrowing down the the immense list of candidates to run against President Obama, Republicans crammed themselves into Abraham Lincoln High School for the Iowa Caucus on Jan. 3. It was the first Republican caucus since 2000, and with it came some major differences.

“I was a bit disappointed with it; it seemed really unorganized compared to what I remember, though this was my first Republican caucus,” government teacher Louis Harrison said.

Two precincts of voters were designated to a single cafeteria, making the atmosphere cramped and the speeches difficult to hear. These situational variations were not the only contrasts from the Democratic caucuses.

“Republicans just take a vote and that’s pretty much it. Democrats are a bit more hands-on. They spread out and stand in support of a specific candidate; [it isn’t] private,” Harrison said.

Before the vote, though, volunteer speeches are given on behalf of the candidates. Because they are related on a volunteer, almost impromptu basis, candidates are often represented by novice speakers or no one at all.

“These speeches were really bad. One guy read Perry’s email, and someone didn’t have anyone to speak for them,” Harrison said.

Despite their lack of eloquence, the speeches may have been necessary, especially when considering the close, (initial) 8-vote victory for Romney.

“You could tell many [voters] were undecided even on the day of the caucus,” Harrison said.

Santorum’s “dark horse” performance in Iowa surprised senior Kenny Cotton, especially the later, ironic reports that Santorum actually won in Iowa.

“[I was] surprised that it was so close, Romney winning at first, then a week later, it turns out that Santorum won. The whole thing has just been crazy,” Cotton said.

Mitt Romney “won” by a slim margin, but his victory seems to be a convincing one. As the most moderate Republican nominee, some would say he poses the biggest threat to President Obama in the general election.

“Romney has the best chance of winning out of the candidates. I like how consistent Ron Paul is and think he makes some sense, but he isn’t electable,” Harrison said.

Cotton seconds Harrison’s view of Romney, citing his business and political experiences as strong attributes to his campaign efforts.

“He epitomizes the free market and has shown he can successfully lead people in both business and politics. He was a governor in an extremely liberal state, so he can work with the other side, which would be a great asset to the general election,” Cotton said.

One student, though, finds the Republican nominees lacking what it takes to win.

“Nobody is really strong, knows exactly what they’re going to do, or have any real plan of action,” senior Andy Peterson said.

Peterson went on to say Obama would probably win regardless of the Republican nominee.

Although Romney seems the inevitable Republican nomination, history and experience show nothing can be certain.

“For example, four years ago, the candidate to win Iowa was Huckabee, but he didn’t win the nomination. There are plenty examples of that. Iowa is primarily for momentum,” Harrison said.