And the GOP '08 Nominee Is...None of the Above?

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

Yesterday's Republican presidential candidate debate in Iowa was a relatively low-key affair, but this was one of the more unusual exchanges of the event. Following a question about ending the war in Iraq:
"Just come home," dissented Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the lone advocate of a quick troop withdrawal on a presidential campaign debate stage. He said there had never been a good reason to go to war in the first place.
"Has he forgotten about 9/11?" interjected former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Romney didn't make clear why the attacks of Sept. 11 justify the war in Iraq, but he seemed oddly pleased with himself for making the comment.

It helps make clear why poll results like these are not at all surprising.
...Iowa GOP voters are expressing limited enthusiasm for the field of current and potential aspirants, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Their views appear to be a microcosm of GOP sentiment across the country and point to a wide open battle for the nomination.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has emerged as the early leader in the campaign for Iowa. But his support is both soft and shallow, suggesting that the Republican race in the state, as nationally, remains extremely fluid.
Just 19 percent of likely GOP caucus attendees said they were "very satisfied" with the field of candidates -- far below satisfaction levels among Iowa Democrats -- and poll respondents were badly fractured when asked to rate the candidates on political and personal attributes.

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