Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Caucuses

Tonight's caucuses are a good news/bad news situation. The best news, of course, is that we finally are about done with primary season. Seriously, I think the candidates started declaring right around the time President Bush got elected and finally those four years of campaigning that turned off almost everyone in the nation (while I'm not one for laws, for the good of the nation perhaps we should enact one that allows the Supreme Court to disqualify anybody who runs for President more than about a year before election day) are about to pay off in the form of candidates. Since I've tried to tune out the election until just recently, I haven't had as much election related stuff, however, I still have plenty of "expert" analysis to share.
The Democrats: I think the results here are great. While I think John Edwards is probably a worse candidate than Hillary Clinton just because of his policies ("get the troops out of Iraq ASAP" is the worst policy I can think of. Since things are getting better on the ground, eliminating all those gains is certainly something we can put in the old win column.), he's not nearly as strong. I saw quite a bit of spin from the Edwards camp on his second place finish, and rest assured he has come on of late. At the same time this is less a win for him than a huge loss for Hillary. A third place finish for the consensus inevitable candidate is a terrible thing for her. Obama's win conversely is huge for him. As Juan Williams said on Fox, he's a black man and he just cleaned up in a white state. He might be more liberal than the other Democratic candidates, but I love that he is a genuinely nice person. He's going to be tougher for the Republicans to beat if he moves on to the general election, but at the same time I really don't care. I'd prefer to have two solid candidates and have mine lose but be able to live with the other candidate. I can definitely live with Obama and may even vote for him if the Republican candidate was tonight's winner.
The Republicans: Huckabee is the clear winner here. Romney's the loser, McCain pulled out a slight win and Thompson a small loss. That might not matter in the grand scheme of things because Huckabee has shown over the past few days that he's not just a Chuck Norris loving good old boy, he's a snake. First there was the "I'm not going to attack Romney, oh by the way, here's my attack that I was going to do" press conference, then there was the appearance on Leno where he mentioned that he didn't know he was breaking WGA picket lines to appear. Then after that there was the overheard conversation of his national campaign manager saying that they were going to go hard after Romney, especially in South Carolina. Then when Chris Wallace pressed him on it, he hemmed and hawed and went back and forth on how it wasn't as it seemed and how dare people listen to his conversations anyway. First off, I don't care if you broke WGA lines or not, it doesn't matter to me. Just admit you did it. It's the domestic equivalent of Bush's not knowing the then-new leader of Pakistan, Musharraf. That didn't stop him, and I don't expect it to stop Huckabee either, but it seems to be part of a pattern. Not of being a little uninterested in things, but being devious. He's portraying himself as this upright minister of the nation when he's really lying through his teeth about how he is just like every other politician. Id really be disappointed if he ends up as the Republican nominee and would prefer anyone win the nomination to him, including surprise 10% vote getter Ron Paul.
Of course, the Iowa caucuses are more favorable than a primary to fringe candidates so it might be one and done for both Huckabee and Paul. We'll see in a few days though.

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