Dear Mark: What is it with Iowa? (And New Hampshire, too.) The entire (non) news media have been wetting themselves about who is leading the Iowa polls, by how much, how they increased or decreased, where they placed four years ago, and on and on. Only three presidential candidates nominated in the last several decades have even won the Iowa caucuses. Only about 120,000 are expected to vote.
I don't care if Iowans, my neighbors to the north, or New Hampshirites, my neighbors somewhere back east, take umbrage with my remarks. Guys, you're really not that significant; it doesn't matter how you vote. What is it? — Morfar in Missouri
Dear Morfar: I share your frustration with the nomination system and the Iowa caucuses, but unfortunately someone has to go first in the election process. The problem as I see it is the laziness of the media. As soon as a politician with the slightest hint of presidential aspirations even touches a piece of Iowa soil, the media hordes swarm the state like paparazzi to a Kardashian wedding. They then park their butts along the cornfields like cows chewing their cuds, and watch the candidates drive back and forth across the state while reporting on every Rotary Club speech.
Meanwhile, major news stories like Iran's military saber-rattling or who will be in charge of North Korea are pushed to the end of a newscast in favor of more pressing issues like the color of Rick Santorum's sweater-vest. Liberals love to watch Republican infighting, so throw in a dash of media bias that benefits President Obama, and the result is nauseating wall-to-wall coverage for months on end.
Once again, my solution is to divide the country into quadrants and have just four primaries over a period of four months. The first quadrant to host a primary will rotate with each presidential election cycle to avoid the Iowa caucus media circus we suffer with today.
Dear Mark: Now that the Iowa caucuses are finally behind us and the presidential election season has officially begun, it looks like President Obama has announced his re-election strategy. Obama surrogates let it slip that he plans to run against Congress. What are your thoughts on this strategy, and do you have one of your own for Obama? — Middle Roader in Ruidoso
Dear Middle: With congressional approval ratings around 8 percent, I tend to agree with Obama's strategy. It sure as heck beats the president running on Obamacare or the poor economy he was supposed to fix. Then again, running against tooth decay or mosquitoes makes more sense than running on Obama's economy.
Running against Congress could also be risky, as that's who Obama needs to work with to solve some of the country's problems. A better strategy would be for Obama to show some leadership, cooperate with Congress and produce some positive economic news before November.
Dear Mark: The candidacy of Ron Paul never ceases to amaze me with all of his wacky views. He placed a solid third in Iowa, and now I see that the Moonlite Bunny Ranch Brothel in Nevada is endorsing Paul for president. Can his campaign get any more loony? — No Paul Pawn on Padre Island
Dear No Pawn: I am not advocating the endorsements of brothels, but if Obama had spent a little more time seeking the support of brothels, he might have had an easier time dealing with Washington. Look at Bill Clinton.
Dear Mark is a public platform for your enrichment and entertainment. E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Mark Levy, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.