Reprinted from The Nation
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker thanked the crowd of potential 2016 Republican presidential caucus attendees at Saturday's "Iowa Freedom Summit" for praying for him when he was taking away the collective-bargaining rights of teachers and snowplow drivers and custodians in their neighboring state.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz built his campaign list by telling the crowd of conservative believers to text the word "Constitution" to a cellphone number associated with his campaign.
Dr. Ben Carson got heads spinning with his immigration calculus: "There wouldn't be people coming here if there wasn't a magnet... you have to reverse the polarity of that magnet."
And former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum trumped Carson by explaining that he's not just bothered by people coming to the United States without proper documentation. "We also have a problem with legal immigration," declared the guy who won the last round of Republican caucuses in Iowa.
So it went at Saturday's cursory visit with actual voters by at least 10 of the all-but-announced candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination who are not topping the polls in Iowa -- or across a country where Republicans continue to long nostalgically for Mitt Romney or another Bush. It was all good theater, but nothing more.
Everyone knew the real action wasn't in Des Moines on Saturday.
It was in Palm Springs on Sunday.