Friday, January 04, 2008


I admit to becoming really excited by the Iowa Caucus last night! There's no sign of inevitability in these races, boys and girls, and that's good news for everyone. We have no need of dynasties in these United States. We have no need for bought elections, where money is King, and no need for the notion that we have no choice but to bow in obeisance to that King.

I put my cynicism aside for a few days. I really thought that money would buy those caucus results for Clinton and Romney. Those fat wallets felt like steamrollers, set to squash their puny opponents. But, for all our complaints this week about Iowans having too much influence, they proved their worth. They looked beyond money and ads and power, listened to the candidates, and chose accordingly.

Huckabee surely can't be a surprise winner in Iowa. The large evangelical vote was a no brainer for him. And his folksy appeal was designed to win in the Midwest and the Bible Belt. It's hard for me to imagine him making headway in the East, though.

Obama's speech was very presidential and inspiring. All of the Democratic candidates talk about change, but he talks best. Can he walk the walk? I still don't know. Interesting story about that (a positive one) here. I thought Edwards' speech was great, too. It was a good distillation of what he's all about. I'm still a strong Edwards supporter, and was thrilled that he edged out Clinton. Clinton's speech was, by contrast to the others, annoyingly all about me, me, me, rather than we.

I agree with those who think Edwards has shaped this campaign for the better, forcing Clinton and Obama to get specific about health and poverty. And, given the hope coming out of Iowa in the form of thousands more Democrats excited about participating in this election, I'm not willing to give up my hope that Edwards can--at the very least--keep shaping this election for the better.

On to New Hampshire.



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