Saturday, January 05, 2008

Thoughts on Iowa

By Carl

There's yet another Clinton hit piece in the
New York Times today. Given how the Times has been in the back pocket of the Republican party for close to ten years now, it's understandable.

Here's what I think about the Iowa results.

Obama ran a fine campaign. So did Edwards. But it was going to come down to those two under any circumstances: Edwards has campaigned there since 2006....remember, he was part of the elite luxury idle rich...and Obama comes from a neighboring state. Hillary never really stood a chance in a state that's as close to red without actually being red, and still has strong animosity towards her husband.

For her part, Hillary could probably have run a stronger campaign, and not made some of the costly errors that she did, most notably the cocaine attack (she should have had surrogates raise the issue that couldn't be so easily traced back to her). That coke use is going to be an issue in the general election should Obama win (or be the VP candidate). Make no mistake about it, and there is a significant part of the population that simply won't vote for someone who's done drugs, particularly one with the criminal trappings that cocaine has.

This is why Bush had worked so hard to cover up his coke use. You or I might not care, but in a country where recent elections have been decided by miniscule vote differentials, that one issue might be enough to prevent him from winning.

We have a slamdunk in front of us. We shouldn't be wasting the opportunity on someone who made "youthful indiscretions" beyond getting a little frisky in the backseat of a car at the drive-in. I'm sorry.

The surprising margin of victory should give us all pause. I suspect the Oprah factor was more important than many allowed, but I haven't really looked at exit polls to be sure of this. Clearly, when every major polling organization has a statistical dead heat in a race where the winner walks away with nearly ten percent more, those agencies ought to look at either their methodology or whether the vote count was accurate.

I'm not saying, I'm just sayin' it doesn't have to just be Republicans that steal elections, altho a head count of people standing around (what a dumb way to run a party!) would be pretty hard to fake...even if I can think of four ways off the top of my head that might work.

So Obama won. Now what?

Well, New Hampshire becomes a bit more important to the Clinton campaign. She should do extremely well there, likely a winner. South Carolina might go for Edwards, but Obama's surprising strength in Iowa will energize Democrats there, and so that race now becomes a toss-up as well. Clinton can outlast Edwards (who has like zero dollars in the bank).

None of these states really matters in the long run, however, except for the media exposure a win brings. SuperDuper Tuesday is the prize, and that's the strategy Rudy! Giuliani has rolled the dice with: make it past these pisher early states (although he has to win one of the next three primaries), and reap the rewards of being a media darling. Clinton's strategy takes the same form, altho my guess is she could lose New Hampshire and still win the nomination on the 5th.

Obla di, obla da

(crossposted to
Simply Left Behind)

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