And good riddance. Getting rid of it could actually be a good thing for presidential politics. Less way-too-early statistics for candidates (and the media!) to obsess over, more focus on -- well, if you're a candidate raising money, probably.
So in honor of the Iowa Straw Poll's demise, we decided to make a list of what other traditions in presidential politics should go by the wayside. Did we miss anything? The comments section awaits.
- Perennial candidates: Donald Trump and his hair are considering running for president. Again. No, really this time.
- Exploratory committees: We've gotten to the point now where candidates say they're thinking about dipping their toe into the waters of whether to explore running for president -- maybe. There are legal reasons for this, of course, but maybe we shouldn't start the process by having politicians repeatedly lie to us about their real intentions. (That's best left, after all, for the real campaign.)
- The phrase "I'm not running for president": Barack Obama said it. Hillary Clinton said it. Pretty much everyone who says this is actually incredibly intent on running for president. It's time to make these people sign legally binding pledges so we can be done with it. No backsies.
- Speaking of straw polls, let's ban all of them until December before the election: That's plenty of time to still freak out over way-too-early numbers.
- CPAC: Don't know what it is? Don't bother. Suffice it to say that it used to be a major conservative event in the D.C. area. Like the straw poll, it has become of less and less value for much of anything besides partying with Young Republicans and Ron/Rand Paul supporters.
- YouTube debates: Self-explanatory.
- Staged round tables with pre-screened attendees: Campaigns were much more fun when candidates hopped in armored tanks and drove around. Now they only do it metaphorically.
- Eating on camera: It's never sexy, and when Mitt Romney tried it in 2012 at a famous frozen treat shop in Miami, he accidentally used the Cuban slang word for a certain female body part. Not hungry after that. Also, corn dogs.
- Diners: Notice a food trend here? Diners are great, yes. They are also way too easy and suggest a campaign that thinks the only place to find normal people is at a Denny's. That's offensive.
- The phrase "The American people want....": This almost always involves way too much over-generalizing. How about they tell you what they want on Election Day?
- The phrase "common sense": This is the buzziest and meaningless-est of the meaningless buzzwords. Wait, people want common-sense solutions? Get out of town.
- "I approve of this ad": Again, there's a legal reason here. We know you've got to say something to ensure us the ad's legit and from your campaign, but it's so boring. How about doing a little jig at the end and saying "Hey! This is me, Rand. Wasn't that ad awesome?"