In a contest which pitted Mitt against, well, no one really, Romney spent loads of money and managed to pay enough to secure a win in the Iowa straw poll. Yes, the same straw poll which the other frontrunners deemed irrelevant long ago.

Hurrah!” scream Mitt and his patriotic sons, after winning a plurality amounting to less than 1/3 of the votes cast. Second tier candidates Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul and Tommy Thompson combined to receive more than twice the votes of Romney, and likely spent less money to do so. And, of course, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson haven’t exactly pulled out of the race just yet.

So where does that leave Mr. Romney? Well, with possibly a few extra votes in Iowa when it matters, and with a few million less in the bank. For a savvy businessman, perhaps not the best way to go. It reminds one of that ancient proverb: The horse that runs its fastest before the race begins, by the end finds itself looking like a behind, as it looks at behinds from behind.