You know, the best thing that happened in Iowa was Ted Cruz winning the caucus. First of all, that made Donald Trump a loser, because no one remembers second place (except we will, for the moment, just fondly look on Trump as "Number Two"). But besides that, it's a good story: a lot of people mention that Cruz's campaign simply had a better ground game--true. Donald Trump claimed that he never even heard of a "ground game". (So much to learn! Also about internal polling versus media polling. Also about knowing which things to blow off, which to take seriously.)
But the interesting thing is that part of Cruz's last-minute poll-defying support came at the expense of Ben Carson. Cruz campaign workers spread a message that Carson was likely to drop out, possibly spurring some Carson supporters to throw in with Cruz to avoid throwing their efforts away on a candidate who wasn't in it for the long haul. What's fascinating to me about this is that there was something a little odd about the claim the Carson was going to Florida to get "fresh clothes". (Is one to believe there is no dry cleaning to be had in Iowa?) And that campaign is, well, same as it ever was. But still, that sort of thing is just further evidence (some might suppose) of Ted Cruz's bottomless skullduggery.
The second best thing is that the results finally persuaded Huckabee, Santorum, and Rand Paul to just stop. Huckabee, instead of doing anything to raise his profile during the course of the campaign, really hit some distasteful notes, and Rand Paul certainly has reasons to concentrate on his Senate re-election campaign. Former PA senator Santorum, is typical bumbling fashion, not only dropped out but threw his endorsement to third place finisher Marco Rubio--for reasons he struggled to explain. (Let me help the gentleman from PA--he can't support the libertine Trump, and no one likes Cruz. But the truth of the matter is, the pretend-moderate character Rubio is just as huge a smarmy social conservative as Santorum. Twinsies!)
The third best thing is Rubio may well be getting a bump from a strong third-place showing in Iowa, and while I don't love Rubio, man, he sure does irritate me less than Cruz and Trump!
On the Democratic side, we bid farewell to Martin O'Malley, who for some reason just never took off. There doesn't even seem to be one specific thing about him that was objectionable. He just didn't take off. The finish between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was as good as a tie in my opinion. Meh. Social media is showing me that there are some people with deep "battle for the soul of the Democratic Party" feelings about the two-person contest. I'm not one of those people. I'm sort of a knee-jerk pragmatist: I'll take better over worse.