Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Romney Chickens Out

We all know that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has a backbone of rubber. Turns out his niece, RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel does, too. Must be a family trait. She wants the remaining Republican candidates all to herself. In particular, she doesn't want them "debating" for anyone else, just for her. Selfish woman. Specifically, Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of the Family Leader, an Iowa evangelical group, is planning a "forum," at which all the candidates could salute Jesus and say that their favorite Bible passage is the (nonexistent) one where He condemns abortion. Or something.

When she got wind of this invitation, McDaniel sent all the candidates a letter with this text about the forum: "Accordingly, please be advised that any Republican presidential candidate who participates in this or other similar events will be deemed to have violated this pledge and will be disqualified from taking part in any future RNC-sanctioned presidential primary debates."

Brave words: You cross me and you're toast. Problem is, Vander Plaats really wants to hold his forum and Iowa evangelicals see him as their real leader. So who are they going to listen to, him or McDaniel?

Well, it took about a week to figure this out. Word got back to McDaniel that some or all of them had promised Vander Plaats that they were going to be there, come hell or high water. After all, nobody is going to watch the fourth and probably final debate, but every evangelical in Iowa is going to watch the Vander Plaats show. So she put her tail between her legs and backed off. After all, Vander Plaats calls his event, where all the candidates will be on stage talking about Jesus and politics a "forum," not a "debate." Presto! It is fine to participate. Problem solved. True grit on display here. (V)

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