Tuesday, January 20, 2004

OK, enough pussyfooting around. After reading plenty of both un- and informed analysis, and watching a lot of C-SPAN (raw, unfiltered campaign coverage - can't beat it), here are some thoughts on the (potential) fallout from yesterday's Iowa Dem caucuses.

1. You know how President Clinton did in Iowa in '92? He placed fourth. As in, where Gephardt placed last night. Now, it's common knowledge that Iowa '04 was much more important to Gep (who won the caucus in '88 - when Dukakis was the eventual nominee) than Iowa '92 was to Clinton, which is why Gep's officially dropping out of the race. But Iowa is not as all-important as the media (liberal bias, my ass!) would like us to believe. The last time pre-Clinton that a Dem was elected Prez was of course '76. That year, President Carter placed second in Iowa - behind "Uncommitted." Translation: Iowans aren't as smart as they'd like to think. Or as they'd like the rest of us to think. [The flipside, of course, is that Iowans seem to vote their consciences, which is good and should be applauded.]

2. Dean is not done. Just watch: if he wins NH (which I think he still will, unless campaign manager Joe Trippi and company completely ignore the lessons they should've learned from Iowa), the press will suddenly re-anoint him the frontrunner. You know what? National polls are useless, because as Markos reminds us, there is no national primary. There's no frontrunner just yet; conventional wisdom regarding the Dem primaries right now is fairly useless. Oh, Joe 'n' Howie, one more thing: no more negative ads, PERIOD, until you're the party nominee. Then it'll be time to bring out the big guns vs. the Rove machine. Until then, just say no. It hurt you in Iowa, and it'll hurt you everywhere.

3. Once Kerry does well in places not named Iowa and NH, then I'll consider taking him seriously. I've not seen anything from him yet to make me do otherwise.

4. Edwards needed this, maybe more than even he knew. I've quietly respected, even liked him for a while now; the clincher was seeing him on the stump in Iowa. Put him in front of a crowd of people, not in a debate setting, and he's electrifying, a close second to Dean in that regard. He's still a bit too Clintonian-centrist for my tastes (and reminds me quite a bit of another young, blow-dried Senator, IN's Evan Bayh), but I could back him. Let's see what he can do with this new, seemingly-outta-nowhere mo'(mentum).

5. I still think that Clark made a huge mistake by skipping Iowa. After seeing what Kerry and Edwards - especially Kerry - did, basically swooping in at the last moment to take advantage of the Gep vs. Dean bitchfight, I wonder if Clark feels it, too. He easily could've placed in Edwards' slot, I think, had he bothered to try. The fact that he didn't puts that much more pressure on him to do well in NH, and last night's result was the worst possible one for him: now, he has to deal not only with Dean, but Kerry and Edwards, too.

6. If Lieberman doesn't drop out next Wednesday (1/28), he's even more of a moron than I've previously thought. Which is quite a lot.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?