Friday, January 04, 2008

Obama and Huckabee win Iowa

Congratulations to Barack Obama. He's a good man and he did well, benefiting from first-time caucus-goers and the second-place endorsement of other candidates.

I would have preferred Edwards, of course. Edwards focuses on the issues; Obama is running on his personality. Although it's too early to count Edwards out, it's clear that much of his strategy depended on an Iowa win.

Both Edwards and Obama keep repeating one word like a mantra: Change. Oh, the irony! Bill Clinton fixed on the same mantra when he ran in 1992. Now Hillary is -- unfairly -- tabbed as the status quo candidate.

Biden dropped out. Saddest news of the evening.

Arianna Huffington makes an interesting argument that Bill Clinton hurt Hillary's standing: "Indeed, if we were to pinpoint one decisive moment, it would be Bill Clinton on Charlie Rose, arrogant and entitled, dismissive and fear-mongering." Of course, Dahlink Arianna's antipathy for the Cleeentons remained constant even when she changed her party affiliation. That said, she may have a point here.

The Republican leadership's palpable hatred of Huckabee is strange and ominous. They sense, as many Democrats do, that Huck has little chance of victory in the general. On the other hand, the Democratic nominee will be the only thing standing between between the Republican party and the White House -- which means that one major stumble by one man (or woman) could place another Darwin-hating Jesusmaniac in a position of supreme authority.

Brad Friedman, who predicted a year ago that Huckabee would do better than expected, warns us not to underestimate the man's chances in the general.

What to make of the resurgence of John McCain, who will probably win in New Hampshire? Josh Marshall thinks he would be stronger than Romney in the general. But McCain's "100 years in Iraq" remark will have all the popularity of a sandpaper bra.

My favorite snarky comment:
All 2 of Kucinich's supporters go over to push Obama over the edge.

Seriously, the Paul/Kucinich wing of the political spectrum needs to hop on the nearest UFO and buzz off. Egos the size of the cosmos...
ADDED NOTE: Jon Swift wrote the only analysis of the Iowa vote to improve on my own observations.
Romney's only hope now is to change his positions on a few of the issues to appeal to more voters.


Anonymous said...

Well,it looks like this country is going to blow its' last chance to survive [slim as it was]in the defeat of Edwards. I am afraid too many people voted for Obama simply because he is black and didn't pay attention to what he was saying. Before anybody yells "racist" I would point out that I voted for Jackson when he was running because I felt he had the best positions on the issues at the time.I have no doubt that Obama is a good man, it is just that he is too mainstream and if this nation is going to correct itself we need more radical change than I see proposed by either Clinton or Obama.If we are not careful the Republicans could win this thing in November.If that happens we might as well drink poisoned Cool-Aid right off and skip the misery, that was one preacher's solution to his problems-is Huck any less of a lunatic ?

Peter of Lone Tree said...

"They sense, as many Democrats do, that Huck has little chance of victory in the general."

Y'ever wonder if the Republicans are trying to lose?

gary said...

Good riddance to Joe Biden, I say. I remember when he announced, thinking "Doesn't he know that he has no chance?" What is this, his sixth run for the White House?

I still blame him for Clarence Thomas. He bent over backwards to be fair to him, and we all know what the Republicans will do to us if we bend over.

Also I don't like his partition plan for Iraq. Sounds good on paper but the stubborn Iraqis don't want to be partitioned. They seem to think it's their country.

And if Joe Biden's as smart as they say, how come he didn't know that he had zero chance of winning the nomination?

AitchD said...

It doesn't matter what I think until they come to my state, but I'll say what I think anyway about Iowa and New Hampshire. The only clear thing is that several actors have been eliminated. In my lifetime, the only political/electoral significant meaning of either Iowa's Caucus or New Hampshire's Primary was in 1968 when Eugene McCarthy challenged LBJ and scored a high second place. Then RFK entered, then LBJ dropped out, then MLK was killed, then RFK was killed, then it seemed it didn't matter what anyone thinks.

Iowa and NH are warm-ups and auditions, and they've always functioned as such. They help in arcane ways as laboratories. Those states are not in the mainstream, they are not important media markets, they are wholly bereft and considerably distant from any big-league sports team. So they serve as 'control' experiments for the candidates and their campaigns. The voters there haven't been worrying about their baseball, football, or basketball teams when the candidates have come to town. For the candidates it's like spring training or football camp. They learn what works, what doesn't work. As of today I don't think we've seen all of the dimensions these candidates have in their personalities. Obama hasn't shown us his front-runner persona, Edwards hasn't shown us his do-or-die summation to the jury, and Clinton hasn't shown us her 'presidential' qualities.

How does Barack Obama's convincing victory in Iowa compare to the Tiger Woods convincing victory in The Masters in 1997, also a first that everyone said would never happen? It can't compare because the members and fans at Augusta National didn't vote on the outcome. You can predict the outcome of a sporting event because it isn't dependent on how people vote. In hindsight, though, it's easy to see why Obama and Huckabee won in Iowa, a landlocked state with no pro sports: Last year, a kid from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, named Zach Johnson won The Masters (after Tiger Woods was leading!), and he attributed his victory to Jesus Christ. Y'all don't really care about such things because y'all aren't from Iowa.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping it honest, Joe.

And gary—THANK YOU. The Biden candidacy is one of the more embarrassing things I've ever seen a politician subject himself to. I have no idea what his objective was there, other than gratifying his own ego. It was painful to watch, and every time he opened his mouth, my fingers itched to slap him.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think it is sad that Dr Paul's message is considered " radical" considering it is the founding fathers message.

lee said...

Founding fathers? The ones who wanted to separate church and state? The ones who owned slaves (John Jay excluded)?

Or founding fathers like Sammy Adams the religious wing nut, tax evader and drug manufacturer (correct me if I'm wrong... alcohol is a drug, right)?

The Founding peeps who wrote Federalist 84 a cry against the Bill of Rights?

...I thought they didn't like taxes without representation.. how exactly is that like Ru Paul's libertarianism? Is Ru Paul trying to get representation for the good folks in the District of Columbia? Or... maybe Paul is apeing the bastard lawyer turned banker Al Hamilton, right? I am sure that an apologist who defended the British in courts and then opened the first (and oldest) bank in New York might see life like Paul does, if he could make it from the west indies without no baby-daddy, and become a rich power broker, then why have any social services at all?

Damn how libertarians sure are myopic

Anonymous said...

For the record:

1. New Hampshire is the first state where we are aggressively campaigning. Due to the Party lockout in Iowa, we chose to focus on New Hampshire.
2. I am the only person running for President who voted against the war, against funding the war 100% of the time, against the Patriot Act, and who stands for a universal single-payer not-for-profit healthcare system. Nevertheless I was excluded from Saturday night's ABC Presidential debate, or four tone monologue as it was.
3. In answer to your questions about why I didn't support former Senator John Edwards on the second ballot in Iowa: I have serious concerns about his connections to a Wall Street hedge fund, Fortress Investment Group. While attacking others for accepting campaign money from Washington lobbyists, he is up to his ears in money from Wall Street special interests.

He made half a million dollars in a single year for attending a few meetings for Fortress and has invested a substantial part of his own personal wealth in the hedge fund whose portfolios are responsible for sub-prime predatory lending practices, Medicare privatization, and an entire range of corporate sharp dealings that are driving the middle class into poverty.

While I indicated Senator Obama as a preferred second choice in Iowa, Progressives have fundamental disagreements with him and all of the other Presidential candidates on most of their major positions on the issues.

We must have the courage of our convictions to fully support and vote for what it is we really want. For once, we must realize our power, stop playing tactical games, and vote as a bloc - which, as you know, is what the religious right does and why they often win.

We Progressives are in the majority in this election. We will win only when we refuse to compromise and vote with integrity.

Dennis Kucinich