By John Breneman
Michael Jackson coasted to victory in the Iowa presidential
caucuses on Monday, receiving an avalanche of votes from citizens
left so numb by round-the-clock "Jacko" coverage
that when they got to the polling place his was the only name
they could think of.
The result surprised pollsters who predicted that, despite
an 11th-hour endorsement by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan,
the embattled entertainer would finish no better than sixth.
"Voters want a candidate who can capture their imagination,"
said pundit Johnnie Cochran. "Now those other guys are
boring, dull. But you take just one look at Michael and your
imagination is working overtime."
Political analysts said Jackson's failure to make a single
live appearance in Iowa didn't hurt him because his image
could be seen on TV approximately five hours a day. No candidate
could match Jackson's grassroots organization, those millions
of followers throughout the world who demonstrate cult-like
allegiance to the spooky, mask-faced King of Pop.
Jackson also enjoys strong support among middle-class Iowa
voters, who appreciate his lunch-bucket work ethic and his
decision to turn Caucasian. Conventional wisdom says the victory
catapults Jackson into front-runner status heading into the
Jan. 27 primary in New Hampshire.
In other election news: Democratic contender Wesley Clark
got a jump on his New Hampshire primary rivals by proclaiming
himself a big fan of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots
"I was rooting for the Pats way back last week when
those other guys were pretending to like the University of
Iowa basketball team," said Clark, who dressed himself
up in a Patriots jacket, hat and Lawyer Milloy jersey to watch
Sunday's AFC championship game at a bar in Sunapee, N.H.
"I'm a patriot, too," the retired general said
as he pretended to take a realistic blue-collar swig of Samuel
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