January 06, 2008

Iowa Debrief

Still wrapping my head around the new primary schedules, amazed that we'll likely have both the Democratic and Republican party nominees in hand by Valentine's Day... can you imagine the pain this summer will bring? Rather than several months of intra-party scrabbling followed by several months of mono-a-mono, we'll get 7-9 months straight of blue vs. red spin. NOT looking forward to it. Especially because Al Gore never jumped in, which would have at least made it interesting. But no such luck.

Considering the candidates we do have, some thoughts following the Iowa caucus:
Obama is doing very well, but the scrutiny has been relatively low. At some point, someone somewhere will corner him and require that he clearly define what he believes in (other than "hope") and Obama'll need some serious answers. Just being the candidate of change will wear thin as more and more people realize that all the candidates are candidates of change, to some degree or another.

Romney outspent Huckabee 6:1 in Iowa, and it didn't help. Perhaps money can't buy votes? Don't believe it... Iowa wasn't going to Romney no matter how much Romney spent - but other states are up for grabs and cash will make a difference in tighter races. Who's going to have the most left rolling into Super Tuesday, and who will have a strategy for where it'll do the most good? My bet is on Guliani to win the finance and financial strategy game. Ultimately it won't help him, but it'll make him a real player this fall, and in the next administration should the Republican win.

Hilary has counted on the inevitability of her campaign for the past year. Now that outcome is in doubt, and if she doesn't win in New Hampshire, she's lost that ground for good. Let's not forget what happened to the most recent Democratic front-runner who came in third in Iowa... Which is good news, as the best thing that can happen for all of us, including Hilary, is for her to stay right where she can to extraordinary good - in the Senate, wrangling Democrats for (or against) the next President.

Dodd and Biden are out - which is a pity, because though unelectable, they were the two best qualified, intelligent, and candid candidates out there. Dodd promises to continue to fight against retroactive immunity for the telecom industry as they try and get away with illegally turning over consumer records to the government. Dodd's a good man; here's to finding a good place for him in the fall, should a Democrat win.

I wish I could like Huckabee more - he's got so much going for him, but then BAM - overzealous religiosity for the win. Despite poll after poll that confirms that fewer and fewer Americans have an issue with homosexuals, and that those who do are aging and will die off before too much longer, Huckabee is committed due to his religious beliefs to pursue the disenfranchising of a portion of Americans he doesn't approve of. While his desire to legislate according to his religious belief is in and of itself neither illegal nor a bar to his running for office, it is something that will keep me from getting excited about his otherwise very exciting campaign and Iowa success. I have no problem with his faith, I do have a problem with his expectation that others live according to his faith...
One last point which was made on TV today, which was so obvious and yet I didn't even notice it until it was mentioned - Obama won Iowa, and race wasn't a factor in the vote. And not only was race not a factor, but that race wasn't a factor went largely unnoticed by everyone involved, and I'm pretty proud of that. I think America is ready for both an African-American President and/or a woman President; whether Obama and Hilary are the two to do it is to be determined, but it seems like as a nation we're ready to consider women and people of color for the office, which wasn't true not terribly long ago. Good for us (little victories, you know?)

Considering who's left, I'm an Edwards man, myself. My friend Adam found a great calculator online to determine where you fall on the political/cultural spectrum. Give it a try - http://www.electoralcompass.com


At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Candypants said...

I liked the poll. I was surprised at which D candidate I was closer to although us "sexy" people do tend to hang together. Thanks for posting it.

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Elise said...

I wanted to try the poll. but I couldnt get to work. Ugh.


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