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With Iowa caucus five days away, The New York Times has taken to the important business of figuring out the people behind the poll numbers by putting on its own episode of MTV Cribs. "The hunt goes on for insights and stories to provide an unfiltered view of their true character," Kate Zernike's writes today. "Where better to look than their homes, to get a sense of their style, and what it might tell us about what they value and how they live?" There are probably better ways, such as interviewing the candidate, but OK, Times, we'll bite. There's so much to infer from from looking at where the GOP candidates live! And much of it seems to subtly confirm what we already thought about the seven main candidates. "Mr. Romney appears to take few risks in design." Ron Paul's house "feels like it’s coming from a more authentic place."

But mostly the houses are boring, and designer Thad Hayes summed it up best: “I hate to call them McMansions — it gives McDonald’s a bad name." But that alone glosses over some of the most wonderful details of the homes like the "animal hides and Navajo patterns" in Mitt Romney's Utah house or the garage Ron Paul converted into a dining room. Then there's the marble, the chandelier, and many vanity mirrors of Newt Gingrich's bathroom, in all its glory above.

Our only regret is that Herman Cain is out of the race.

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