Any way you slice it, Iowa was a stunner.

A virtually all-white rural state selected a charismatic black lawyer from Illinois as their presidential standard-bearer. Talk about change. This is historic. Add to that this stunning statistic. Obama defeated Hillary by eight or nine points. Now they both head to New Hampshire where both are in a tight race for next Tuesday’s primary.

Hillary has been wounded. No doubt about it. But she has money, organization and Bill. New Hampshire is a more friendly state for Hillary than Iowa. But Obama will get a bounce from his victory. Never underestimate the Clinton machine but at this moment the odds favour an Obama victory in the Granite State. Then watch out. Hillary’s current lead among blacks in South Carolina will start to melt. Can you imagine blacks voting against a black candidate who has just won in two white states? Neither can I.

As for John Edwards, he is on the ropes. He has little money and not much of an organization in New Hampshire. If he is defeated there – as he will be – I expect Edwards to drop out and leave a two person race. Clinton vs. Obama.

And the Republicans?

Who in the world a couple of months ago would have a predicted a a banjo-playing Baptist preacher who rejects income taxes and evolution would sweep the Iowa caucuses? But before we get carried away here, let’s cut to the chase. Mike Huckabee has little chance of winning the Republican nomination and no chance whatever of winning the White House. Pat Roberston and Pat Buchanan did well in the  Iowa caucuses but quickly came a -cropper. So will Huckabee.

Huckabee’s showing in Iowa is mainly significant because of who it hurts and who it helps. It hurts Romney badly. (If Romney does not win New Hampshire – unlikely – he is kaput.) It helps McCain – a lot. McCain has a good shot at winning N.H. It also helps Guiliani although the New York mayor’s campaign is floundering and by virtually skipping the two early states, he may well have sabatoged his chances.

What do you think?

Are you glad Obama won Iowa?

Do your think Hillary can recover?

Who is your choice among Huckabee, McCain and Rudy Giulian?

I haven’t mentioned Thompson because after New Hampshire – maybe even before – he’ll be gone.



  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    I recall last June you were predicting a Hillary nomination and I warned you that it was far too early for predictions. Strange (and wonderful) things can happen in the lead-up to the conventions. Now the people can speak and Obama got their vote, big time. When the American people decide to stand up and say enough is more than enough, it is very powerful.
    Obama does represent change, while Hillary does not. Obama represents hope for a different way of doing politics, while Hillary does not. Obama is the « wrong guy » in so many ways — black, not from a wealthy family, with an Islamic name, advocate for the poor, young (although no more inexperienced than either Hillary or Edwards) — he demonstrates that America is, down deep, ready for change and is tired of the use of fear as a means of control.
    I read on another website that Bush’s incredible failure in everything he has done as president at last it made it possible for a black man to make a credible run for president. We owe him that much at least.

  2. 2
    Dezertlady Says:

    I caucused last night, but for Ron Paul, who I hope in some way still makes it. I am a registered Independent.
    However, my second choice would have been Barack Obama. Here in Iowa we are tired of politicians promising things they cannot deliver. All of the candidates except Obama and Paul in my opinion, were the two who could deliver. They weren’t promising some « pie in the sky » mentality.
    I was one of the original people who barraged Obama’s White House in-box with requests for him to CONSIDER running for President. And I thank God he said yes!
    The difference between Obama and Hillary is that Hillary represents a seasoned politician and the status quo, while Obama is unspoiled and has a vision for our future.
    Iowans chose change over experience.

  3. 3
    Alex Thomas Says:

    Change? You are expecting change? You are expecting a president who speaks his own mind, who demonstrates common sense, who stops the buck at his desk? Do not hold your breath, purple accented with blackened tongue does not become you.
    Just about EVERY candidate (except, perhaps, Ron Paul) sounds alike: We MUST blahblahblahblahblahblah…and THEY would blahblahblahblahblahblah…they would have us ignore the man behind the curtain. I don’t think so.
    Who have they tried most mighily to shut out of debates, to discredit in the mainstream media, to say that he is a flash in the pan, a waste of time and energy, who offers the greatest threat to the other candidates, who generates the most passion and MAKES THE MOST SENSE?
    If I were American, I would vote for, and work for, Ron Paul. The Demolican /Republicratic « difference that makes no difference » , the Tweedledum and Tweedledumber of the four-year ballet offers no change worth mentioning.
    The greatest threat to our Western society is stupidity. Too many stupid decisions, justified by stupid rationalizations, « war on terror, », « stay the course », « mission accomplished. » To quote one wag about a particularly dumb admiral, « he grounds the warship he walks on. » There are two ways to end it. Find somebody with a working set of brains and hand him the keys…or shoot the lot and put the janitor in charge. At least, if he makes a mess, he’ll know how to clean it up.
    My name is Alex Thomas. is it just me, or is it getting cynical in here?

  4. 4
    John Says:

    An effective politician doesn’t need to be the smartest person in the room, but they need to know who is.

  5. 5
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I have just looked into who Ron Paul is. I have read some of his discourses and some comments about him, pros and cons. In a way, he would be a good companion for our Mario Dumont…but I do not vote for Mario. Those guys worry me no ends as they take us on a time machine back to the victorian era.
    On the other hand if I was voting in the USA I would have a tough time picking the lesser evil. But then we Canadians and Quebecers have a similar problem, haven’t we?

  6. 6


    I think you are probably right about Obama. He appears to represent authentic change. However, let’s face it. In order to acomplish legislative change Obama would need solid majorities in Congress.


    Thank you for sharing your experience of the caucuses.


    Of course the democratic process as demonstrated in the United States and elsewhere is messy. But to paraphrase Churchill, what is the alternative? Not the janitor, I think.

  7. 7
    Joanne Nicholls Says:

    I don’t quite get the whole caucus and primary thing. I think I get the caucus–its a grassroots straw poll about who is leading at the time. Obama did well here. Maybe Iowa did vote for change. But I still think that Hillary will come out ahead. Experience is what the White House needs at this point. And, given the state of the US, no matter how much Obama wants and preaches change, I don’t know whether he will be able to create much.

    Still, an interesting spectator sport.

  8. 8
    Barbara Says:

    Neil, if Obama turns out to be the candidate behind whom Democrats, some Republicans and the large group of Independent voters coalesce, then he will have large coattails. When the deep-felt need for change, the sense of repulsion at what the US has become at home and abroad reaches the tipping point (if it hasn’t already), I wouldn’t worry about the make-up of the Congress elected in 2008. There are lots of bridges yet to cross. Hillary is in a very awkward political position right now.

    Joanne, primaries and caucuses have to do with electing representatives to the political conventions that will officially select the candidates in each major party. It is more than a straw poll.

  9. 9
    Phillip Longmire Says:

    I am surprised because everything I have seen so far is that Hillary was suppose to win. It was destiny and nothing was suppose to hinder that.

    However, not knowing a lot about Obama, I have noticed that he has an ability to mobilize people to action. I have heard from people who have heard him speak who say he is the best they have ever seen?

    People will say what does the white house need and Washington…and I would say most in their thirties and under would say CHANGE…I don’t care who comes in Dem or Rep…but change and get rid of the old guard…

    When I look at Hilary I see the old Clinton guard standing around her…it is the nineties all over again…

    when i look at Obama I see freshness and newness…I see someone who wants to bring change to Washington…not the white house but Washington…

    He is making me want to look at him and learn more even though up until recently I would not have voted for Hilliary or Obama…

  10. 10
    jim Says:

    If I remember correctly, Bill Clinton did not win in Iowa, came in second in New Hampshire and turned it around in Georga. To my knowledge no one has ever been elected president who hasn’t won the Southern Bloc.

  11. 11

    I am happy Obama won in Iowa. I admire his mission to pull political discourse away from the divisive and partisan sewage that dominates so much of our discussions of political, social, and cultural issues. I don’t really agree with his take on many vital issues, but I think we’ll progress as a society better in resolving those issues if we work with one another and not constantly against one another. Obama’s victory represents a move towards a political framework of cooperation and sharing and debating of ideas and away from a framework in which parties and interests are forever trying crush and obliterate the other. It may seem strange to say this, but I think Obama would be bad on some particular political issues but good for the whole of our politics.

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