Opinion: Contemplating the West Virginia results

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How coincidental that, just as the Republican presidential race kicked off with a victory by Mike Huckabee in Iowa’s caucuses, he scored the first win on Super Tuesday, grabbing all 18 delegates at stake at a GOP gathering in West Virginia.

How telling that Huckabee’s triumph resulted from an alliance between his forces and those supporting John McCain. The Republican that those two candidates clearly can’t stand -- Mitt Romney -- led in the first round of voting, with Huckabee a fairly close second and McCain a distant third. But Romney had failed to crack the 50% mark, resulting in a second ballot that Huckabee won when the McCainites flocked to his banner. Romney’s exasperation over the way the Huckabee/McCain dance has undercut his presidential bid -- a dynamic evident even before the year’s balloting began -- is only going to intensify.

How odd that, on a day when millions of regular folks are flocking to the polls in states from coast to coast, the initial spotlight would shine on a contest decided by barely more than 1,000 party activists.

-- Don Frederick

UPDATE: Speaking of Romney’s exasperation, one of his top aides, Beth Myers, recently issued this statement about what happened in West Virginia: ‘Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change.’